Athletes brave hottest weekend of the year for mid Missouri

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COLUMBIA — Temperatures greater than 90 didn't stop athletes from participating in the Missouri State Senior Games this weekend.

Missourians from all across the state, age 50 and older, joined together to play all kinds of sports. Saturday's games included soccer, softball, track and field, archery and more.

The Olympic-style sports festival is intended for older adults to enjoy recreation and physical exercise as well as promote awareness of the abilities of older citizens.

Athletes were seen sporting hats, sunglasses and drinking lots of water. Water stations were set up at every athletic event and medical services were present throughout the day.

Emergency Medical Technician Trista Corbin said there had been no issue related to heat so far. 

"Everyone is old enough and smart enough to know to drink lots of water and stay hydrated," Corbin said.

One soccer player Ed Cody has been playing in the senior games since the 1980s. He said it's a long tradition that his team continues each year. Despite the heat, this year was not any different for them.

"You try to just hydrate as much as you can," Cody said. "At our age we try to let the ball do a lot of the work and use our head as much as we do our legs. There's a little bit of a breeze today and that definitely helps."

David Wilfong plays on a team from Columbia that they named Los Bandidos. The team has been playing in senior tournaments together for three years. He says they make sure to have a filled roster to help cope with the heat. 

"We give everybody a rest now and then," Wilfong said. "We'll just stay cool, go up to the parking lot to cool off between games. We enjoy the hot weather, we're used to it." 

The games began Thursday, June 9 and will continue through Sunday, June 12. To find specic times or locations that sports are taking place, visit the Missouri State Senior Games website.

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