2017 National Senior Games

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The 2017 National Senior Games or National Senior Olympics is a sports competition showcasing multiple events for athletes aged 50 and over. The event has been held by the non-profit National Senior Games Association every other year since 1987. For the 30th anniversary games in 2017 as many as 10,500 participants competed in nineteen events at ten different venues in Birmingham.

Birmingham was announced as host of the June 2-15, 2017 event at a press conference in January 2016. Michael McGreevey chaired the organizing committee. Humana was the presenting sponsor. Organizers recruited thousands of volunteers to help conduct the event, which was estimated by the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor's Bureau to have a direct economic impact of around $38.4 million for the region.

The opening ceremonies, torch lighting and recognition of athletes were held at Legacy Arena. Alabama track athlete Bo Carwyle, 90, lit the torch. The "Celebration of Athletes" was held on Friday, June 9. Singer Pat Boone, who competed in the basketball events, performed the national anthem. Marathon runner Kathrine Switzer gave the welcoming address. "The Village" hub, also located at the BJCC, housed interactive visitor exhibits and information for participants and spectators. Admission to all events was free.

Three centenarians participated in the games: sprinter/long-jumper D. Paul Miller, 100; sprinter Julia Hawkins, 101; and bowler/field athlete John Zilverberg, 103. Tennessee athletes dominated the medals with a total of 655 won, to only 72 for Alabamians. 46 medalists came to the games from Canada and 13 from Barbados.



  • Wray, Cheryl (January 29, 2016) "National Senior Games coming to Birmingham in 2017." The Birmingham News
  • Walsh, Lauren (January 23, 2017) "Birmingham, local venues prepare to host 10,000 athletes at 2017 Senior Games." abc3340.com
  • Wray, Cheryl (June 6, 2017) "Senior Games start Friday, will bring thousands to Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • Bean, Josh (June 6, 2017) "90-year-old Alabamian lights torch for 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • Thompson, Khari (June 16, 2017) "National Senior Games projected to spur $38.4 million in economic activity." The Birmingham News

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