Jim & Lois Anderson
Jim and Lois Anderson discovered that there is life after retirement and they found it at the Huntsman World Senior Game!
After retiring, the Anderson’s thought it would be fun to check out the games as spectators. It was an awakening for them! Jim has been a “memory photographer” at the games, and Lois has competed in the Race-walking event, in which she has won numerous medals.
Through the years, they have made choice friends with whom they meet year after year.
Neusa is the perfect illustration of the Huntsman World Senior Games mission “… to foster worldwide health, friendship and peace.”
Neusa has participated in the games since 1993, and has accrued 25 medals in various sports. Presently, she serves as an Ambassador for the Games in her native Brazil and has been a driving force in creating awareness and participation in the Games.
Her vibrant spirit and heroic efforts have made great strides in fulfilling the Games mission.
Brad’s first exposure to the Games was when he was called and asked “What is seeding?” That was 17 years ago, and since then Brad has been involved in various roles with the softball events. Brad claims that his experiences have had their ups and downs….Literally!
His favorite experience was riding in a helicopter as it hovered over the fields, drying out he fields so play could continue. One he was not so thrilled over was when he was fixing a faulty sprinkler at Cooper Fields, when the famous Dixie wind decided to blow, covering him with mud from head to toe!
Don has been a part of the Huntsman games for over 22 years. Don played, coached or assisted a San Luis Obispo men’s softball team every year he attended, and he has medaled over 15 times in softball and golf.
Over a 22 year period, Don has been instrumental in sending 70 softball teams to the Games from his small, agricultural county, with as many as 8 teams in one tournament. Both Don and his wife Ellie have served as Ambassadors for the Games by encouraging many friends, family, and acquaintances to become involved in the games. And athletes run in the family! Ellie has won medals in golf, and their son has won 5 medals in swimming as well as capturing the gold in softball.
Tom and Marilyn Miller
The Millers have been involved in the Huntsman Games for 18 years in the table tennis event. Starting out with just 10 tables, the event has more than doubled during the time that the Millers have been in charge of the operations.
They organize the draws, playing schedules, and find doubles partners for those needing them. The Millers have been instrumental in increasing the number of participants in the competition. They have been very successful in attracting players form all across the globe to compete in the Games.
Tom has participated as an athlete as well, earning 30 medals since he started playing in the games. The Millers always look forward to attending and participation in the events, and believe the volunteers with whom they work are wonderful people.
Cal has been involved in the Huntsman World Senior Games for 22 years. Cal is a nationally ranked United States Tennis Association senior player, and at 87 years young, he is still competing and winning may national and local tennis tournaments.
During the 22 years he has competed at the Games, he has won 28 medals and has been introduced to a world-wide list of competitors who have become immediate friends.
Don has been involved in the Huntsman World Senior Games for nine years. In 2003, Don approached representatives of the games and asked if the sport with the funny name, “Pickleball”, could be introduced in the games. The rest is history! The sport has grown from 50 participants in the first year to 400 participants competing annually.
The Pickleball venue at the Games is currently the largest in the country. Don attributes this to several factors. “First, the HWSG is a phenomenon in itself, creating terrific energy for participation in many sports. Secondly, when participating in other sporting events, we always are armed with promotional materials for the games. And last but not least, the Pickleball club and volunteers have created a friendly venue for visiting participants.” Don starts that working with the Games has been one of the most fun and rewarding activities of his life.
For 17 years, Dolores has participated as a volunteer at the Games. Her philosophy in life has led her to believe in the importance of contributing to the community.
Several years ago, she agreed to assist with the Games in using a computer program in the table tennis event. Fortunately, Dolores was more impressed with the Games that she was with the computer program and she came back the next year.
She was instrumental in working with the author of a software program, and due to her efforts and dedication, there is a program that is well suited to the Games.
Dolores said another perk from her volunteer experience was her computer skills greatly improved! Dolores feels the Huntsman World Senior Games have allowed her to meet people from all walks of life, from many states and countries around the globe.
Bob started competing at the 2000 Huntsman Games. Bob states” I was so honored to have a chance to play, but I didn’t know what to expect. I could not have imagined thousands of athletes from around the world all over the age of 50.”
Bob trained for 4 months that first year, and he says he needed it all. The second year, he trained harder and smarter. “I want to be the best. Not just better. That’s how I train and that’s how I teach.”
Bob was determined to make a difference to others around him, and being a part of the Games was a dream come true. Looking back at his life, he realized that though he could not see it then, God had a plan for him. So far, he has garnered 17 gold, 17 silver and 6 bronze medals in basketball.
Leola began competing in bowling and horseshoes at the Huntsman World Senior games, and has been playing the Games for 23 consecutive years. She has earned 11 gold, 19 silver and 15 bronze medals.
She was delighted to receive a ring for her 15th year of competition, and thrilled to receive a watch commemorating her 20th year of competition. She is still going strong at age 87 and continues to bowl in spite of visual impairments due to macular degeneration. She has met many people throughout the years from all over the country and has made many new friends.
The Games have encouraged and motivated her to practice year round to reach her goals. The games are a big part of her life and she looks forward to participating in them each year. She hopes to be able to continue, at least until she reaches the 25 year mark!
Gene and Ginny Pletcher
The Pletchers dedicated their time and energy into building the racquetball venue at the Huntsman World Senior games.
Gene served as Director of racquetball as well as competed in the sport for 10 years. Ginny was by his side as assistant director during this time.
Gene and Ginny also opened their home to participants in the Games from other countries. Gene passed away in 2004, and Ginny continues to open their home to players from Ireland and continues spreading the spirit on generosity and friendship as a supporter of the Games.
Marge has participated in the Softball venue for 17 years. Although she was hesitant at first, she says the tears didn’t come until she was on the phone with Brad Hafen asking him if the term was “Seating” or “seeding”, and what in the world did it mean?
Her love affair with the games began the following year, and has continued to the present. Marge thinks the Games are a remarkable event, and she hopes to have a few good years left to help as she describes ‘in my small way.” The efforts that Marge has put forth have made her an integral part of the softball tournament and a huge factor in the success of the Games.
Don & LaVell Smith
Don and LaVell have been involved with the Square Dancing venue since it was introduced to the Games by their son, Scott Smith.
The Smiths worked together as host and hostess for the event. They set up and serve refreshments to the square dancers, making sure that the dancers were well taken care of and had adequate refreshments to sustain them.
The Smiths always took pride in their responsibility, setting up, serving and replenishing the refreshments for the event. Their kind service and devotion created many friendships and brought a lot of joy to the participants.
Utah Sports Commission
The Utah Sports Commission has been a partner with the Huntsman world Senior Games since the year 2002.
The mission of the Sports Commission is to foster national and international sport competitions in Utah. The Commission recognized the impact that the Games had in bringing in a significant number of out-of-state visitors each year and supported the mission and goal of the Games.
The Commission has continued in its role as a sponsor, and has been pleased to see the growth of the Huntsman World Senior Games as a result of its partnership.
Gaylen has participated in the games since the beginning 25 years ago, missing only 2 years while serving a mission for his church. Gaylen states that the people involved in the Games have been so nice and kind, and thinks the volunteers are great.
The friends he has made from all over the U.S. and other parts of the world have truly been an inspiration to him.
Gaylen thinks the Games are among the greatest, if not the greatest, of all the senior games around the world.