Senior Olympians tough competitors

Thomas Garcia

Ten Quay County Olympians brought home 30 medals and 10 ribbons from the 31st annual Senior Olympics Summer Games at Las Cruces.
Leading the way of local Olympians was U.V. Henson who competed in 10 events and earned medals in each one.

“The competition was pretty stiff this year,” Henson said. “I have a new competitor. His name is Thomas Moore, of Alamogordo he is a good athlete.”

“There where 780 athletes from 130 communities that competed this year,” said Suzann Martin, Quay County Senior Olympics coordinator. “These guys and gals did an outstanding job. They worked so hard to get there and had a great time competing against fellow seniors.”

Competition on May 27-31 was in the 26 sports was held in age divisions based upon five-year increments, age 50 to 94.

Henson was honored as the Spirit Athlete for Quay County, and honored at the opening ceremonies and banquet, Martin said. He also received an autographed baseball from Major League Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, formerly of the Cincinnati Reds.

“He was a great guy, although I am an Atlanta Braves fan myself,” Henson said. “He was an interesting speaker who talked about everyday life.”
Henson, said that his greatest honor came from his son, Jerry Henson, who traveled from Plainview, Texas to Las Cruces, with his wife Katy, to watch his father compete.

“After my last event Jerry came up to me gave me a hug and said ‘I am proud of you Dad,'” Henson said. “That meant more to me then all of the medals I won.”

This year Henson was joined in competition by his wife Mary Lou Henson.

“That was a great experience,” Henson said. “We played table tennis together and had to learn to stay out of each other’s way.”

Henson said that he is happy with this year’s results and is ready for the 2010 games which will be held July 27-Aug. 1.

“I hope I’ll see Moore again, he was a great competitor,” Henson said.

Other Quay County Olympians who competed and who medaled and won ribbons are Mele Armijo, Celso and Erlinda Blea, Mary Lou Henson, Ida Kent, George Martinez, Mary Rivera, Gilbert Romero and Pete Valverde.

Additional information on the New Mexico Senior Olympics is availabe at www.nmseniorolympics.org.