This letter is about swimming in the Golden Games and how it has changed over the past three years.
It has always been, "Do the best you can," and for some seniors, 80 to 90 years old, it can be a challenge just to get into the pool.
For whatever reason, the rules were changed this year where one had to do the right stroke with a certain kick or you are disqualified. What?
Some older people can not put their arms over their heads or their knees do not bend properly from injury/surgery/arthritis, so how can they do a strict stroke or kick required for some unwanted rules?
One swimmer, in his early 80s, swam the 100, four lengths of the pool, each length a different stroke. He asked if he could rest between strokes. Of course, was the reply, but if his feet touched the bottom of the pool, he is disqualified. He could hang on the side of the pool with his arthritic fingers; that would be acceptable.
Give me a break.
He was disqualified for a wrong stroke. I did a wrong kick with the breaststroke, and there were other people that did not fit the rules.
We did not find out about the DQs until the awards dinner.
(Editor's note: According to event sponsor Blair Senior Services, the Golden Games are designed to be fun and competitive, as well as to produce a sense of physical, mental and social well-being for participants. More than 300 of Blair County's senior athletes participated in over 30 events. Each of the Golden Games events has a designated volunteer chairperson. The chairperson is responsible for monitoring their events and reporting results back to Blair Senior Services. After the conclusion of the 2013 Golden Games, event chairpersons convened for a meeting to discuss any problems, issues or concerns brought up by participants. Blair Senior Services works together with the each event chairperson to make sure that issues can be addressed for the upcoming year.)