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Senior Olympians Compete For The Gold, Make Friends

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The world's best athletes may be competing for medals in London right now, but a different kind of Olympics is occurring in communities around the U.S., with different rewards for its participants. Senior Olympic games are held in almost every state, with the chance to move on to the National Senior Games. The athletic feats of the participants are impressive, but the medals are not the only reward for these seniors.

Many senior athletes who participate in the Games enjoy the social atmosphere more than anything else, according to The Tennessean. Joe Saggione, 53, who participated in the Tennessee Senior Olympics, said he loves getting together with other Olympians.

"We meet other couples and sometimes travel together as friends," he told the news outlet. "It's more in keeping with fun road trips than competitive tournaments. Basically, it's the social aspects that we enjoy more than anything."

Of course, the Games are also an opportunity to keep seniors active and fit. The National Senior Games Association is the nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee that governs the Summer National Senior Games and oversees other state games. According to its official website, the Association's aim is to improve senior living and motivate senior men and women to lead healthy lifestyles. 

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