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Athletes At National Senior Games Compete Hard, Stay In Shape

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- Among the interesting studies at this week's National Senior Games is the spirit. Many competitors are north of 60 years old, but they want two things: To compete hard and stay in athletic shape.

Dave Mona is the co-chair of the National Senior Games. He's seen his share of big events come to town, so what stands out about this one?

"They'll stand in line to get measured and the average human being age 60 can stand and sit in a chair four times in 30 seconds. These people are disappointed if they can't do it 12 times," Mona said.

That's right, it doesn't matter the sport. There is a spirit that reigns. They want to have fun to be sure, but they're not here for participation ribbons.

"The atmosphere is just electric because you get to compete against people your own age," Irv Innager, a racquetball participant, said. "I wouldn't be down here otherwise."

Even the volleyball team known as Simply 60 from New York admits it. This is fun, but you better believe.

senior games
(credit: CBS)

"It's just a ball and that's why we do it. It's our social club and it's what we do for fun, but you want to win," Audrey Gavin with Simply 60 volleyball said.

Along those lines, the most popular booth might be where you can get your vibe. See they are just as committed to staying in shape. Balance is a key to life, and that means from a physical standpoint.

"This is all about balance but it's about balance, strength and circulation," Trainer Deb Gregarian said. "So three major components for almost any issue that we all have."

Because if you are willing to stay active to get here, you might outlive your contemporaries by a long shot.

"There's a survey that came out this week that shows the fitness age is about 20 years below their calendar age in this group as a whole. It's a remarkable statistic," Mona said.

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