MISSOULA – What’s billed as the world’s largest senior sporting event came through town over the weekend.
Senior Olympics is a member organization for athletes 50 and over with archery, racquetball and track and field just a few of the events held on Saturday.
Charlotte Orr, 80, started swimming a few years ago. Her daughter swims competitively and was her inspiration.
“It’s just that you meet so many interesting people when you come here — people that are interested in keeping active. It’s just been soemthing that I look forward to every year,” Orr said.
Sixty-eight events took place all around town. Missoula Parks and Recreation hosted the main ceremony at Fort Missoula. More than 300 seniors participated in the games.
Orr’s birthday was back in May, but she waited until tonight to have her party. She wanted her friends from the senior Olympics to make it.
Swim coach Lucy Keller is in a wheelchair and has been swimming since she was nine years old.
“These people are my inspiration. Charlotte and Rusty, and Sue, and Deb, and Ruth Anne,” Missoula Masters Swimmers Coach Lucy Keller said.
“There’s a whole group of them. They keep me going. Being in the water is a real freedom for me and it’s good therapy so I just love being in the water,” she added.
More than 70% of participants were from out of town with Missoula Parks and Rec saying that the event brought more than $200,000 into the local economy.