“Let the games begin!” St. Louis Senior Olympics are underway

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The official torch lighting of the St. Louis Senior Olympics.

Bill Motchan , Special to the Jewish Light

The 2023 St. Louis Senior Olympics officially began Thursday, May 25, with opening ceremonies at the Jewish Community Center’s Staenberg Family Complex. A group of athletes and event sponsors passed the torch to mark the beginning of the 43rd annual Senior Olympics. The torch used in the ceremony has some history behind it—it was used during the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

Nearly 1,200 athletes ages 50 and over will compete in more than 90 events. Most will be held over the Memorial Day weekend at the J and several other venues. Track and field events will be held on Monday, May 29, at The Principia. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

This year’s St. Louis Senior Olympics pays tribute to the generations of competitors who have made the athletic competition an annual family affair. One of those families is father and daughter Steve Glickman and Julie Sandler. They’ll be teaming up and teeing off on Tuesday, May 30, at Forest Park Golf Course.

Julie Sandler said she’s looking forward to teaming up with her father for the second straight year in the 18-hole golf event. Sandler, 51, who is a member of Temple Israel, qualified to compete in 2022 for the first time. Glickman, 78, has been participating in the Senior Olympics for nearly 20 years. He said winning would be nice, but “it doesn’t even matter if you place, because of the friendships you make here.”

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“The organization is just dynamic the way they put it together,” said Glickman, a member of Central Reform Congregation. “And it’s well thought of nationally as one of the best Senior Olympics in the country.”