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More than 1,000 brave weather for Senior Games

January 22, 2019

LAUGHLIN — The 2019 Bullhead City/Laughlin Senior games pushed through the rain without any hiccups.

Softball did get delayed due to the rain. However, the Senior Games were able to utilize two extra fields at Rotary Park to catch up.

Pickleball was moved indoors at the Suddenlink Community Center when the weather at Rotary Park would not cooperate.

Overall the athletes had positive feedback as to how everything was handled and taken care of.

“Our parks maintenance crews did an amazing job getting the fields ready for competition after the wet weather,” Bullhead City Recreation Sup. Kristin Williams said. “The volunteers for pickleball even squeegeed the courts after it rained so they would dry out faster. The team really rallied.”

The weather did not affect the 5K run, swimming, track and field, bowling, horseshoes, powerlifting, golf, basketball skills, table tennis or cornhole.

The preliminary registered number of participants in the games was just over 1,000. This number was subject to change because cornhole and the 5K had onsite registration.

Fourteen people came out to cornhole on Friday night to take part in the singles and doubles tournaments.

Softball saw the highest number of participants at the games, as there were more than 50 teams, according to Williams. Pickleball followed in second as far as participants were concerned.

Ali Steenbergen, a Canadian visitor to the Tri-state, said she understood pickleball’s popularity. Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis; it is among the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., especially among senior citizens.

“Speaking as the first Canadian who got to play pickleball on your new courts, I felt truly honoured,” Steenbergen posted on the Bullhead City Facebook page. “The people organizing the pickleball were super nice, friendly, generous and accommodating. The players were fun and friendly.

“From what I heard, Bullhead City/Laughlin are going to be major expanding pickleball in their town. Watch for it. It’s great now and going to be greater, eh.”

Steenbergen said she managed to work in a Colorado River cruise during her stay.

“Overall a great experience, eh,” she wrote.

It was a truly great experience for Jordan Wolle. The 90-year-old won three gold medals in swimming. Bertus Rinke, a youngster competing in the 60-64 age division, took home five gold medals.

Medals weren’t the only prizes claimed by participants. Williams said she was delighted with all the local businesses that donated merchandise to help fill the swag bags for the competitors.

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