Seniors show sportsmanship and strength at Show-Me State Games

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COLUMBIA - This week marks the 21st year for the Missouri State Senior Games that give older athletes the opportunity to stay in shape and show off their skills.

Athletes get to compete in a variety of competitions including basketball, baseball, tennis, football, horseshoes, shuffleboard and pickleball. 

Volunteers serve as score keepers and track each contestants point totals. The top three finishers are awarded medals and, while recognition and bragging rights are desired, most participants said they come to the games every year to see old friends.

Dave McCoy participated in nearly all the day's events and said he enjoys being able to compete in the 80-84 year old division, because he couldn't compete in college sports.

"I wasn't very good in any of them, and the ones that were good in sports, they seemed to get old and now I can compete with them," McCoy said. "And so I just kept going, about the same as I ever was, but now they have bad knees and bad ankles and elbows and thing like that so I am able to compete a little bit now."

In a letter written for the Show-Me State Games souvenir program, Gov. Jay Nixon said, "Some of you have been competing in the games for many years, while for others, this is a new experience. No matter if this is your first or your 31st time to be a part of this great event, you are helping demonstrate the clear benefits of a physically active lifestyle for our entire state."

McCoy said he agrees with that sentiment and that he enjoys spending time with his friends and keeping tabs of records from previous years. He said he plans to continue to come out every year.

"It's either do it or give up," said McCoy. "We have to keep going. And we enjoy this."