Some of the drama! Very little of the pageantry! The 10th semiannual Summer Senior Olympic Games are being held in Pittsburgh through June 18th.
Apparently there aren't enough old people roaming around town in the late springtime, so we've decided to invite about 10,400 more. And not just regular elderlies. Izzy Mandelbaum types. They'll be sauntering through all of the usual Summer Olympic events (in fact, if you've never seen an 85 year-old woman throw a shot put you should click here).
But the fun doesn't stop with track & field and swimming. There are also scheduled events in racquetball, horseshoes, and, of course, shuffleboard. Followed by personal accounts of The Great Depression, a visit to the lottery ticket booth, and shopping at Kohl's with the senior discount.
These games claim to be more about promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle than the competition itself. But I was watching the news the other day and some lady on the defending champion softball team was talking trash about winning the title again. As she yelled into the reporter's microphone, she pointed at the camera like some professional wrestler. I'm not sure that she was concentrating on the fitness aspect.
I don't mean to make too much fun of the athletes. They are the best in the U.S. at their sports, and they are in better shape than I am. In the 100+ age group, Sam Pate won a bowling gold medal when he finished his third game with a strike and 6 straight spares. A Senior Olympic gold in bowling is one of my goals when I am 103 years old, too. Right after "being alive" and "still able to eat solid foods."
I actually consider myself an honorary old person. Let's look at the facts - I am semi-retired, relatively curmudgeonly, and I drive a powder blue Chevy Corsica. I'm just not quite old enough, yet. But I'm working on it. Day by day. I am already in training to take part in the 2027 Senior Games (in my first year of eligibility).
But for now I might as well cash in on the estimated $30 million that is expected to be brought into the Pittsburgh area because of the Olympiad. I'm heading downtown tomorrow with a trunk full of hearing aid batteries and few pair of black socks that will hopefully be sold for a profit by 3:00 or 3:30 pm. Just in time for dinner.