Residents from seven nursing homes and an assisted living facility traveled to the First United Methodist Church in Athens to compete in the Senior Olympics Friday.

The 11th annual event pit residents against each other in both mental and physical games.

“This is a very exciting event every years,” said Cedar Lake Nursing Home Activity Director Carol Tosta.

Tosta has been a part of the Senior Olympics since their beginning.

“I remember when we only had two or three nursing homes competing that first year,” she said, “Now we have seven and about 80 participants.”

The Olympians were able to compete in a domino tournament, 42 tournament, spelling bee, walking race (fast and slow winners), walker race (fast and slow winners), pitching washers, ring toss, wheelchair race (fast and slow winners hoop-it-up and an obstacle race for those with motorized chairs.

“We used to have it where they could only sign up for two or three events,” said Tosta, “but this year we are allowing people to drop into the event if they have lost in one of the tournaments or the spelling bee.”

A new record was set at the years Senior Olympics when Park Highland Nursing and Rehab brought a record-breaking 48 contenders.

“No nursing home ever brings that many people,” said Kit Scott who has been a part of the planning process for both the Athens and Tyler Senior Olympics. Scott also provided entertainment during lunch.

Other entertainment was provided by the Hee Haw Band, Randy Huffman and members of the Texas Clown Association who walked around making balloon animals and balloon hats. The Senior Olympics ended with an award ceremony were the winners of the events were given ribbons. An award was also given to the most spirited male and female, and the most spirited facility.

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