Despite having half the number of its normal competitors, the Tucumcari Senior Olympic team won 16 medals at the State Senior Olympics in Las Cruces.
"This year we only had five compete in the state games, and in the past we have had 10 or more seniors attend the event," said Jessica Elebario, director of senior programs at the Tucumcari Senior Citizens Center.
Elebario said the Olympics help to promote healthy and active lifestyles to the seniors. She said it also gives them a sense of pride and confidence to represent their communities on that level.
One of those seniors, U.V. Henson, said he enjoys the games for the competition.
Henson said he has been competing in the local and state senior Olympics for the past five years.
He said it's mostly about the thrill of the competition, though he likes the fact that the games help him stay active.
Henson won 10 medals at this year's state games, with places separated by inches. He said he won the broad jump by 1 inch, the shot put by 2 inches and lost by running broad jump by 4 inches.
Henson said one of the victories which stands out for him during this year's state games was the table tennis event. He said this was his first year winning the event, though it was a personal victory as he beat a man who had beat him two years ago in all three matches.
"I truly enjoy all the games," Henson said. "Though beating that guy after he had bested me two years ago really made me feel good."
Elebario said she would like to encourage local seniors to come out and compete in the local and state games.
Quay County Senior Olympics Medalist
(Age group in parentheses)
Gilbert Romero (60-64)
Silver: 8-ball pool, high jump.
Mele E. Armijo (70-74)
Gold: Frisbee distance, soccer kick
Bronze: 8-ball pool
U.V. Henson (85-89)
Gold: Basketball free-throw, discus, shot put, standing long jump, table tennis, 400 m walk/run
Silver: Softball throw, huachas, long jump
Mary Lou Henson (85-89)
Competing in 85-89 Division