Raves

We’ve had some pretty enthusiastic participants over the years, and over time we’ll collect some of their comments here. If you have a comment or a story to share, please send it to info@alaskaisg.org. Thanks!

Bobby Klemann (in the red hat) and his competitors

I had earlier in the year made the decision that I was going to pursue my bucket list goal of attempting to participate in the games of each of our 50 states, should I be fortunate enough to live that long :).

To convince myself that I was serious, I figured I had better get busy and schedule one of the more remote ones right up front. Alaska made the list right away. I didn’t put much time in the planning, addressing mostly the needs for flight, car rental, and lodging, figuring I could maybe, as a bonus, stumble onto a few site-seeing activities during the stay.

My expectations were fairly low as far as venue and presentation were concerned. How surprised I was in what I found. The presentation, organization, and planning that went into everything from the registration thru to the events themselves, was absolutely outstanding.

I’ve been to maybe 13 or so states thus far, Nationals included, and have not found any to be more prepared or better run, or generally rewarding than yours! And none have touched the level of enthusiasm and camaraderie that I experienced in interaction with the volunteers and the other participants. Everybody seemed to take the time to make sure the out-of-towners were well taken care of, actually treated as part of the family. There was a demonstration of obvious pride in being an Alaskan, being a volunteer, as well as being a senior participating to prove that age is just a number.

After being exposed to all of that, I have promised myself that I will come back, maybe next summer or after, but a little better prepared to more fully experience all the wonderful things the area has to offer. And for any of my fellow senior athletes that may have similar ambitions as I, you need to know that your Alaska games will be mentioned as a ‘must do’.

Thank you and your staff for all the detail and dedication that you put into this event. It certainly is not going unnoticed!

Bobby Klemann

2017 Participant, Pataskala, Ohio

5K Ann Milton

Ann Milton, 5K competitor, with Don Kiely, Road Race Commissioner

 

My compliments to those involved with the 2014 senior games! I had a great time. The opening ceremonies were especially impressive as the interactive activities (in particular sawing a log with a cross saw and a partner) helped me to get acquainted. The food was outstanding also – healthy AND delicious. As I watched the different competitions, I wished I had signed up for more activities instead of focusing only on the 5k run. I’m trying to run a race in every state and had no idea how much more fun I could have had if I had been more alert to all that was available.

Thank you for all the time and effort you put in to make such an enjoyable event.

Ann Milton

2014 Competitor, Nebraska

Kat Fyten’s concetration on the Bocce field

I love the Alaska Senior Games because they make me feel like a child again. Just simple games and I get caught up in the competition as it builds throughout the events. I can focus on a sport or skill and completely concentrate without all the other distractions that this “multi-tasking” life consumes my normal days. I have made some lasting friendships at the Senior Games and even if I don’t win I love to cheer on others and in doing so share their joy of victory. I discovered a new sport at the Senior Games look forward to the next seasons games. I want to thank all the wonderful volunteers who make these games fun, efficient, and who work tirelessly.

Kat Fyten

2013 Bocce Competitor

Barbara Shew at 2013 Games

Barbara Shew nailing the targets in indoor shooting

I really had a good time at the Alaska Senior Games. I was especially impressed with the bus and taxi transportation. There was no trouble getting around. It was great! I really enjoy going downtown and to the Tanana Valley Fair. The shooting events were perfectly planned. All the staff was so wonderful! Claudia, our activities coordinator, is working to put a group together for next year, so we might have 8-10 come up for the Games.

Barbara Shew

2013 Rifle and Pistol Competitor, Wasilla, Alaska

Ron Kotyk pulling his arrow at the archery competition

I have been involved in the Alaska International Senior Games for quite a while now. From my very first time as a participant I was impressed by the local reception I got as an outside guest from Southeast and later South Central Alaska.

From the volunteers that organized this tremendous program, to a local generous guy named Charlie Deer, who lent me a complete set of competition shooting gear on a handshake so that I could win my first of many medals in the games, to the hotel staffs, I felt at home away from home!

I was so touched by Fairbanks hospitality that when I showed up for my second time not realizing I missed the new online registration only policy, I decided to pay it forward and be a volunteer official at multiple venues.

Believe it or not I worked hard, but had just as much fun because of the appreciation I felt from local volunteer staff and participants as well. I did not feel like an outsider but part of your Fairbanks family! The joy I witnessed from all involved, including family and fans, was truly amazing!

These games really add to your city’s reputation as a gracious host to worthwhile events of all kinds! Your support is needed and welcome by more people than you might imagine!

Ron Kotyk

Southcentral Alaska

L to R: 2014 80-84 Horseshoe champions Bill Blockcolsky, Dave Watson, and John Boulette, with Commissioner Walter Crary

My friends have been asking me to enter the Games for some time but I had been unable to walk, swim or dance for several years due to conditions with my circulation in my legs.

In October 2013 I had a stent put in both legs and I got progressively better in my walking. When I won the free registration at the Senior recognition dinner at the Carlson Center, I was not planning to use it due to my condition but at the last minute I decided, why not. I knew nothing about the Games and did not think I had a chance and had not prepared myself for it, but decided to try my best.

I met so many wonderful participants and everyone cheered everyone one, it was like a breath of fresh air. So many wonderful people working together to have fun. No one trying to beat anyone, just enjoying the games.

My friends and family were thrilled to know that I attended and to bring home so many medals thrilled me, as I never thought I would get one. I just wanted to participate to see what was going on.

The programs were planned so well that everything went very smoothly. I congratulate those that did such a wonderful job. I hope I will continue to get better so I can compete in 2015. Thank you all for making me alive and active again.

My very best wises to all of you for a job well done.

A special thank you to Ann from Nebraska who partnered with me and cheered me on.

 

John Boulette

2014 Competitor, "happy 84 year young Senior"

Phyllis Hughes (right) with Rachel Thomas

 

Last year I took my first trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. I entered the Table Tennis tournament that was very well run. Thanks to Diann Darnall, my trip went very smoothly. I truly appreciated the warm welcome and good competition. Although I won many gold medals, it is the warm welcoming attitude from all that I treasure most.

Phyllis Hughes

2013 Table Tennis Competitor