Idaho Senior Games get under way in Boise

Credit: Ryan Larrondo / KTVB

Idaho Senior Games get under way in Boise

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by Ryan Larrondo

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 3, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 3 at 7:55 PM

BOISE -- Some say that age is just a number, and never was that more true than today, as the Idaho Senior Games kicked off at Timberline High School.

The 25th annual games feature 19 events throughout the month of August and is designed to promote healthier lifestyles at any age, but especially for Idaho's seniors.

Hundreds of athletes over the age of 50 are expected to take part.

"They are enjoying competition and it's exciting," said games coordinator Mike Thornton. "It's exciting for them, and it's exciting for us to watch.  People in their 60's, 70's and 80's that are able to compete at a pretty darn high level.  It's pretty inspiring."

The games also introduce athletes to other competitors, allowing them to celebrate their love of sport.

"It gives people the chance to get out, meet people from all over, compete at any level of skill," said track and field coordinator Diane Garcia.  "It doesn't make any difference whether you're slow or fast. It's just getting out here and keep moving."

85-year-old Bill Platts enjoys track events, but he also competes to stay in shape for his other passions in life.

"I use track to get in shape to hunt chukars," said Platts. "I've already been to eleven high mountain lakes this summer.  If it wasn't for track I couldn't do all of that.  I'm 85, so if you don't train year round you can't stay in shape."

Three years ago, Platts found himself unable to compete. He came down with the West Nile virus, and was seriously ill. With a 104 degree temperature, Platts was forced to three weeks of bed rest. "They said there's nothing we can do, you might as well go home, So they sent me home.  You go home and you lay in bed and you hope your temperature finally goes down."

But he got better, and got back to competing the very next year. This summer, Platts has already set records at the games, and he doesn't see himself slowing down anytime soon.

"I plan on doing it until I'm 100," said Platts.

Track and field weren't the only events on Saturday.  There was also an archery competition, a table tennis tournament, and a softball tournament.

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