Coral Springs Athletes Prepping for Senior Games 2022

senior games

Florida Senior Games on December 15, 2019. (Provided By Brian Hankerson)

By Bryan Boggiano

Eight Coral Springs residents flex their muscles and prepare to show off their athleticism.

Also known as the Senior Olympics, they’ll be participating in the National Senior Games between May 10 and 23 in Fort Lauderdale.

The athletes participating from Coral Springs include Brian Hankerson, 63; Carlos Urrutia, 64; Scott Boyer, 62; Kirk Ellington, 53; Edward Mease, 73; Andrea Nagy Rowe, 51; Marilyn Rule-Heinrich, 52; and Edward Vecchio, 72.

Another resident, William Otto, pulled out due to an injury. The 89-year-old would have competed in the 5K and 10K cycling time trials.

The National Senior Games Association hosts the Senior Olympics every two years; however, they postponed the 2021 games due to COVID-19.

“We had to pivot and adapt,” said Sarah Henrikson, press account manager. “These games have been challenging to navigate as everyone slowly adapted to new changes.”

Henrikson estimates that 12,000 athletes will compete in 22 teams and individual sports at the 2022 games.

Coral Springs Talk caught up with Hankerson and Ellington ahead of the Senior Games.

At 63, Hankerson will compete in multiple track-and-field events, including the 50-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter sprint and the long, high, and triple jump.

Hankerson coached youth sports when he first heard about the master’s tournaments, and since, he has competed in about four Senior Games competitions.

At this year’s games, Hankerson hopes to continue bonding with the athletes he meets along the way and set personal records.

For athletes working hard to achieve their goals, Hankerson shared some motivation.

“Enjoy the journey; work hard, and you will get the results you desire,” he said. “Nothing is impossible with dedication, commitment, and hard work.  Never limit yourself.”

At 53, Ellington will compete in cycling events, but he did not specify which ones.

Ellington said that he has always been active, riding his bike since he was 3. He was a part of the UF Cycling Club, participated in biathlons and triathlons, and has tried mountain biking.

“I’m excited for Nationals but more just seeing how I perform for myself rather than being competitive,” he said. “For me, it’s more about the personal experience and having fun than just trying to win.”

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Coral Springs Athletes Prepping for Senior Games 2022

Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.

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