A local cyclist is hoping that by participating in the BC Senior Games, he can inspire others to get active, too.
Michael Scott, a 74 year old from Harrison Hot Springs, took part in the Games in Burnaby last weekend, and was on the search for some familiar faces. He didn’t find many.
“I think Harrison has a significant population of seniors and I think they may be missing an opportunity,” he said, by not participating in the Games.
“For me, it was exhilarating,” he said.
This was Scott’s first time competing, but he bikes about five days a week, and will sometimes bike along the Haig to Hope and back.
The route has two good biking hills, which helped prepare him for the 6.7 km loop around Burnaby, eight times over.
“There were more hills than I do out here,” he said.
His efforts landed him a silver and bronze medal. But more than that, it’s inspired one of this year’s volunteers, Linda Andersen, to take part in the Games herself.
“My experience has been such that I have been ‘bitten by the bug’ of the enthusiasm and kind spirit of the people I have met, including participants, non participants and volunteers, that I will register and participate in the 2013 BC Seniors Games,” she wrote in an email to The Observer.
She said it has been Scott’s own willingness to get out and maintain a healthy lifestyle that has pushed her to compete.
“His beaming smile is engaging enough to cause others to want to be a part of the good feel that participating in events such as these Games,” she said.
Scott said he hasn’t always been the pillar of good health. But over time he has changed his lifestyle to a healthier one. Competing in the Games was just another way to keep improving, he said.
“I started riding because I wanted to lose weight and I can’t run anymore,” he said. “And then I got bored.”
When he heard about the BC Seniors Games, he knew he had train. He filed his paperwork at the last minute, and made it a goal.
He’s hoping that when the Games come around next year, in Kamloops from Aug. 20 to Aug. 24, he’ll see more of his neighbours participating along with him.
“It was so much fun, and there are so many opportunities for seniors to participate,” he said.