Presbyterian retirement community holds statewide Olympic games

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Presbyterian retirement community members from across the state traveled to Columbia Friday with their “eyes on the prize.”

They came to compete in the Presbyterian Community SC 2018 Olympic Games. The six Presbyterian Communities have come together for nine years, allowing residents to compete against each other in five Olympic games. The athletes participated in Wii (gaming system) bowling, bocce ball, putt-putt, a .25 mile walk, and a spelling bee.

All teams met in the chapel to commence the games with an opening ceremony, complete with a battery-powered olympic torch.
Director of Marketing and Sales, Elizabeth Beutel, said the event was originally created to have an activity that promotes the residents’ wellness.

“It was a collaborative approach, it’s a way for all of us to get together and have a lot of camaraderie,” she said. “Oh but they get very competitive with each other,” Beutel added. The athletes for the games were chosen based on preliminary competitions held at each different retirement community. “They also have silent judges judging them on their spirit,” she said.

Athletes seemed to go “all-in” at their events. Bocce ball participant Eleanor Bosco said she still wanted to cheer everyone else on even though they were competitors.

“I always played sports, so I’ve enjoyed it,” she said. “I root for everybody, if I see a good shot, I’ll call it.” Bosco said that even though she considers herself a team player, of course she still wanted her own Summerville team to win.

All teams showed a large amount of spirit by creating cheers, signs, and accessories to wear, to support their community’s represented athletes.

“The staff isn’t doing this, the residents are getting together and figuring out their own cheers themselves,” Beutel said. “It’s just a really big deal for everybody.”

Individual winners for each game received a bronze, silver, and gold metal. Athletes with metals garnered points credited to their team. The team with the most points at the end got a trophy, and the title of Olympic Games Champions.

Categories: Batesburg-Leesville, Blythewood, Cayce, Chapin, Columbia, Dentsville, Eastover, Forest Acres, Gilbert, Hopkins, Irmo, Lexington, Lexington County, Lower Richland, Pelion, Richland County, Sports, Swansea, West Columbia

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