One phone call sums up the essence of the B.C. Seniors Games.
A volunteer was at the Walnut Grove Aquatic Centre, watching as an athlete in her 90s kept touching the wall and completing her turn for another lap of the pool.
The volunteer remarked that she felt inspired just watching this athlete compete.
Shirley Stewart relayed the story to The Times on Monday, two days after the 2014 B.C. Seniors Games came to a close in Langley.
Stewart served as the Games’ operations manager.
The four-day event brought more than 3,800 athletes from all around the province to the Township and the City. The Games also featured close to 1,200 volunteers.
“Everything went great,” Stewart said, echoing the sentiments of the volunteer who called her about how inspiring the athletes were.
The athletes ranged in age from 55 to 97 and three of those in attendance had competed at the first B.C. Seniors Games back in 1987.
“That is just amazing, that they are still competing,” Stewart marveled.
As for the overall event, Stewart said there were no complaints.
“The weather was absolutely perfect,” she said.
“We couldn’t ask for anything better.”
At Saturday’s closing ceremonies, it was also announced that the annual event will henceforth be known as the “55+ Games.”
The announcement was made by Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, who unveiled the name and new logo.
Coleman said the name change “reflects the spirit and vitality” of the competitors better.
The next games will be held in 2015 in North Vancouver.
At the closing ceremonies, Township Mayor Jack Froese praised the “army” of volunteers who helped keep the event running smoothly.
“I think it’s the best games ever,” Froese said.
“We’ve really raised the bar for the next community.”
The acting mayor of Langley city, Ted Schaffer, echoed the sentiments, calling the games “incredible.”
— with files from Dan Ferguson