Armada Fairgrounds to host Medilodge Olympics – New Baltimore Voice Newspapers
Dozens of seniors from across the state will compete at the 17th annual Medilodge Olympics at the Armada Fairgrounds in September.
This year’s event is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Sept. 13. Lynne Peters, vice president of business development for the Medilodge Group, said it sponsors and hosts the annual event for seniors who reside in Medilodge facilities across southeast Michigan and Ohio.
Peters said this year’s games will include 100 seniors: five from each of the company’s 20 locations. In addition, two cheerleaders from each facility will also be in attendance to encourage their team onto victory.
The six senior Olympic events include basketball, kickball, horseshoes, target toss, discus throw and shot put.
Carolyn French, activity director at Medilodge of Richmond, said this year they have expanded the Olympics to include many different age groups to better represent their communities.
She said residents have been practicing for all the different events for months. They train twice a week to earn points, and the ones with the highest amount of points are chosen for the team.
The event at the Armada Fairgrounds will begin at 11 a.m. and will include the introduction of each facility’s five-person team, followed by brief opening ceremonies that will include the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The official Olympic torch will be lit by the oldest participating resident.
Peters said family members, staff and several vendors round out the crowd at the event, and everyone has a ball.
“It’s really just such a fun event,” Peters said. “There’s also music and dancing along with the competition.”
Upon completion of the games, the chefs of the Medilodge Group provide all in attendance with a luncheon while the official judges tally the scores.
Closing ceremonies begin at 2 p.m., when each Olympic team member receives an Olympic medallion. The winning team is then announced and presented with the event’s official Loving Cup Trophy to display throughout the following year.
Ceremonies conclude with the singing of “God Bless America,” and the administrator from the winning Olympic team blows out the official Olympic Torch.
Peters said hosting the event is not only a huge plus for the seniors involved, but also puts a positive light onto an industry that doesn’t always get one.
“This helps to show the good that goes into short-term rehab and long-term care centers; it shows lodgers can get the help they need and flourish,” Peters said.
The inaugural Medilodge Senior Olympics took place on Sept. 11, 2001. Medilodge residents and staff started the tradition of patriotism with the first event and continue to this day.
Barb Pert Templeton is a freelance reporter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.