Competition of olympic proportion

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Twelve Roosevelt County residents will be traveling to Las Cruces on Tuesday to participate in the Summer State Senior Olympics.

For a fee of $45 each, Roosevelt County residents aged 55 and older were eligible to participate in the local games that were held in April. Over a period of seven days the games were held at various locations in Portales, said Lupe Montoya, Senior Coordinator/Director for Los Abuelitos and the local coordinator for Summer Olympics in Roosevelt County.

“In all the events, you must place first, second or third in order to attend the state Olympics,” Montoya said.

Over the past few months, the group has sold burritos, held dances, bake sales and car washes in order to raise funds to attend the state games in Las Cruces. Support has also come from local businesses and the staff and management of La Casa, Montoya said.

“The community has really responding well in supporting them. I was overwhelmed with the sponsors,” Montoya said.

Through interpreters, Antonia Marez and Ernesto Gomez, expressed their excitement at the chance to attend the state games. The two will be representing the Community Services Center Adult Daycare, said Twila Hurley, CSC representative.

“For us that’s a big thing,” Hurley said of the two having the chance to attend the state games.
Armando Payen spend time on Wednesday playing a fast paced game of snooker in preparation of the upcoming state games. In Las Cruces, Payen will be playing eight and nine ball pool, but prefers to practice by playing Snooker because it offers more of a challenge, he said.

“Participating in the games is a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of other people,” Payen said of his involvement.

Becoming involved in Los Abuelitos as a Senior Employee for the New Mexico and Aging, Hortencia Aranda learned about the senior Olympics. Her participation in the senior Olympics has proved to be fun and a learning experience. Quickly learning how to play shuffleboard, Aranda qualified for the state games right out of the box, she said.

“It’s the first time for me to be involved. It’s fun, it’s been great. I’m excited,” Aranda said.