Portales seniors keep active through Olympic games

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Local seniors are competing all week in the Roosevelt County Senior Olympics Summer Games with a chance to move on to the regional games in Las Cruces in July.

Remaining events take place at Eastern New Mexico University on Thursday and Friday.

Roosevelt County Senior Olympic Coordinator Lupe Montoya said the games are all about health and being active.

“We open the Olympics with the fun games, which are the potato race and balloon race,” Montoya said. “It promotes good health and this is why we do it.”

Senior Olympics is supported by La Casa Family Health Center.

Sally Tenorio of Portales has made the regional games five times. Tenorio competes in basketball, horseshoes, shuffleboard and bowling.

“I’ve been competing for the last seven years,” said Tenorio, who finished second in women’s shuffleboard. “You make a lot of friends and to me this is like a vacation because I have a mentally ill daughter I have to take care of seven days a week. Being here for the five days is like a vacation. I really enjoy it.”

Events include in a balloon race, potato race, basketball free throw and 3-point shooting, washer game, shuffleboard, pool, horseshoes, soccer kick and distance, Frisbee distance and accuracy, softball distance, a timed walk and race walk.

Johnny Tapia of Portales has been participating in the Senior Olympics since 2002, competing in pool, soccer kick and Frisbee distance. Tapia said that he likes the competition because some of the seniors he competes against would be considered close to a professional level of competition.

“I like to go and meet different people and have a good time,” Topia said.

Seniors advancing to Las Cruces for the next round will be staying in the dorms at New Mexico State University.

Expenses are $300 per senior if they qualify to go to Las Cruces for the Olympic games.

“We go garage sales, tap business for donations, have raffles, sell plate lunches and do car washes,” Montoya said.