August 17 saw just over 900 participants and their guests invade Brooks, Alberta as they registered for the Alberta 55 + Summer Games. With their schedules in hand for the next two days, they met friends from previous games, had time to locate their venues, shop the Games merchandise and in some cases, have a practice round on the golf course. The evening Opening Ceremonies were later in the evening and after the speeches and a declaration that the games were “officially open” they were entertained by a demonstration and explanation of a variety of indigenous dances highlighted by a spectacular hoop dancer.
Zone 2, which includes Drumheller and area, walked off with the trophy for the most medals won! And residents from Drumheller and area certainly contributed to this success. Jim Milman from Drumheller competed in cycling, winning 2 silver medals against his arch rival from Okotoks, also a Zone 2 competitor. They both competed in the 11.8 km Time Trial and 21.6 km Road Races. Zone 2 can also claim the gold medal won by Tim Hodges of Beiseker. Obviously the Valley provides lots of interesting scenery for the cyclists.
Cribbage saw Lloyd Laughlin win a bronze medal in singles play and Ron Keats and Darryl Saboe won a silver medal in doubles. Golf saw Zone 2 with a total of 18 medals and Drumheller’s Keith Lee fell just short finishing fourth, but just out of the gold medal by 3 shots.
Zone 2 walked away with 4 of the 15 medals in 8 Ball pool with great representation from Drumheller and area. Cal and Debbie Werner from Hanna were successful with Cal winning gold in his age group and Deb finishing third in hers. Derek Campbell from Drumheller won a bronze medal and Remie Defoor just missed out of the medals, finishing fourth.
In Athletics, Wendy Laughlin of Drumheller won a silver medal in the 1500 meter race ran her way to 3 gold medals (400, 800 and 3000 m). Robbin Thurin of Hanna had a successful debut in the 55+ games, finishing second in the discus throw, missing gold by 0.13m and fourth in the javelin throw. Our Zone President, Norma Dawson, a High River resident, added 4 gold medals to our zone total. I wonder where the men were!
Pickleball had a record breaking 169 entries from across the province and our area was well represented in the activity, including players from Hanna, Morrin, Munson and Drumheller, and also in the medal count. Pickleball was played in 2 categories (under 4.0 and 4.0). Five age groups of mens’ doubles, womens’ doubles and mixed doubles.
Duane Bolin & Rob Thomas won gold in the 55+ under 4 division. Duane partnered with Laurie Bolin to win a bronze medal in the mixed event. Other medal winners from Drumheller and area include: In mens’ double competition medals were presented to: Silver in the 60+ age group to Jay Slemp (Hanna) and Ron Anderson (Strathmore), Bronze to Dan Hird & Afolabie Olegrade in the 55+ age group, and Bob Chambers (Morrin) and Leon Berg (Munson) in the 70+ age group. In the womens’ competition Sharon Slemp (Hanna) partnered with Louise Bleier from Strathmore to win Silver in the 65+ age group.
Zone 2 was very competitive in the Culture competitions which includes Crafts (20 different categories) and Photography. Of 40 medals awarded in Crafts, Zone 2 received 6 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. The Zone photography competition was judged by our own Darryl Reid. Zone 2 was successful at the Provincial Games winning 2 of 3 gold medals, 5 or 8 silver medals and 2 of 8 Bronze medals.
The Games closed on Saturday evening with a banquet for 900+ people and an amazing band from Calgary called the Beatles Tribute. After waiting for their table to be called and heading to the buffet line, people stormed the dance floor when they started their show with their version of the “Ed Sullivan” show by the Beatles. And the dance floor never cleared until the show ended at nearly midnight. I have never seen so many people still at the banquet as it drew to a close.
Congratulations to the community of Brooks and all their organizers and volunteers – they were all welcoming and helpful. Congrats as well to all the participants and the winners. People are anxiously waiting to hear about the make-up of the Alberta team for the Canada Senior Games in Quebec City in August 2024.
Meanwhile, Zones throughout the province are working on preparing for the Alberta 55 plus Winter Games which must be complete by April 2024. These games include Badminton, Bowling, Duplicate Bridge, Painting, Creative Writing, Darts, Euchre, Floor Curling, Ice Curling, Sturling, Pickleball (3.49 and under), Scrabble and Snooker. A number of these games will also provide participants for the Alberta Team advancing to the Canada Senior Games in Quebec.
My apologies if I missed reporting any medals. For information on Alberta 55 plus or the activities in Drumheller and area, feel free to contact Linda Traquair 403 823 8460 or email@example.com. Information can also be obtained from the website: www. alberta55plus.ca