Senior Olympians go for the gold at Bubbling Springs Park

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    WEST MILFORD-While New York City fights it out with other major cities like Paris and London to host the 2012 Summer Olympics an altogether more mature version of the supreme athletic event was held recently in West Milford. Bubbling Springs was the venue for the 16th annual Senior Olympics last Thursday, June 6 as athletes from six towns competed in six events to find winners in each category as well as declaring an overall winner from the competing towns. This year's Senior Olympics was organized by West Milford Parks and Recreation Department through its Senior Services Department and the leadership of Gail Anderson. The towns competing in the event included Hasbrouck Heights, Pequannock, Randolph, Rutherford and Sparta. Each town is represented by 24 seniors who compete in each event in groups of three. The athletes congregated at the makeshift arena at 8:30 a.m. and just before the temperatures rose and the athletes took the opportunity to display their prowess, they settled down for coffee and donuts. With the caffeine buzz still fresh, the competitors were given a gentle warm up and lightweight aerobics instruction to loosen the muscles and prepare each participant for the day ahead. The competing groups split up and headed off to the area where their event would commence. The competitive edge and supporting cheers of teammates was clear for all to see and hear throughout each category. The six events which took place were the basketball throw, the horseshoe throw, T-ball, soccer kick, Frisbee golf and everyone's favorite - the chicken toss. While the chicken toss is unlikely to ever make it to the Summer Olympics it is still a challenge of skill and hand-eye coordination as athletes try to throw an eighteen inch long rubber chicken as far as they can or alternatively into a small pool for bonus points. After all the events are completed and the athletes finish eating the lunch provided for them the scores are announced. Gold, silver and bronze medals are given for the top three scoring males and females in each event. The grand prize however is held till last and this year Sparta claimed top prize as the township with the highest scoring point total. West Milford came in a creditable joint third but will no doubt be aiming for higher for next year when the event takes place in Randolph.