Name them inspiring. Name them fierce. Name them highly effective. Simply please, don’t name them “cute,” says Katie Couric, the legendary journalist who this yr is performing as a spokesperson for the video games, generally generally known as the “Senior Olympics.”
For Couric, sharing the tales of those top-tier athletes isn’t simply in regards to the thrill of the competitors (which is thrilling certainly—clips from the event typically go viral). It’s about busting myths about what older individuals are and aren’t presupposed to do, and selling the significance of being active as you age. “I like the message of staying vibrant and wholesome,” she says. “Significantly now that I’m 66, so I’m one of many individuals who is growing old and staying very energetic.”
Effectively+Good spoke to Couric about her personal health routine, the ageism older athletes face, and the Senior Video games rivals she’ll be rooting for.
The Senior Video games athletes inspiring Couric
Of all of the rivals she’s spoken to, a couple of tales stand out to Couric.
One is Willie Spuill, who was a veteran combating myriad well being points when he rediscovered working in his 60s—then swept his monitor occasions at his first Senior Video games. “This has opened up part of him that actually wanted to be channeled and expressed and shared,” says Couric.
For DeEtte Sauer, studying to swim, and finally turning into one of the embellished athletes on the Video games (final yr she received eight gold medals—the identical as Michael Phelps on the Beijing Olympics, Sauer proudly shared with Couric) was key to her restoration from alcoholism.
And at 94, Dwight Smith might be competing for gold in basketball alongside his son, Terry. His granddaughter, Christie, might be making her Senior Video games debut in pickleball.
“You see the transformation in these people after they become involved in a sport,” says Couric. “However sport is simply a part of it—it’s being with different folks.”
How Couric stays energetic herself
As a longtime advocate for well being and wellness, it’s no shock that Couric’s personal health routine is intensive and ever-growing. An avid tennis and pickleball participant (“I used to be an early pickleball adopter,” she says), she additionally began Pilates through the pandemic, “as a result of sitting a lot actually made me stiff, and I wanted to work on my core energy.”
She’s additionally a giant walker, “particularly as a result of I used to be recognized with breast most cancers a yr in the past,” says Couric. “I’ve to take these aromatase inhibitors, which may generally have a damaging impact in your bone density, so I do a variety of strolling and weight-bearing workout routines.”
She’s additionally engaged on her stability, aware of its rising significance later in life to forestall falls. And, like most of us, she’s attempting to really stretch commonly.
Couric provides that she’s taking some inspiration from the Senior Video games athletes she’s interviewed: “I actually need to discover ways to swim,” she says. “I understand how to swim, however I’ve by no means been capable of do it with out getting actually winded, so I feel I should be doing one thing flawed—I used to be serious about taking swimming classes this summer season.”
On ageism and taking older athletes critically
Couric says she hasn’t personally encountered any stereotypes about growing old, “as a result of I defy them every day and ignore anybody who would underestimate me or attempt to marginalize me,” she says. “I pity the idiot.”
However, she acknowledges that such stereotypes completely exist. “We have now to struggle towards the tendency to underestimate older folks, or infantilize them,” she says. “I get actually mad when folks say ‘Oh, she’s so cute’ about any person who’s actually completed. Individuals might not take older folks as critically as they need to, however I at all times suppose, in the event you’re fortunate, you’re gonna be one.”
“We have now to struggle towards the tendency to underestimate older folks, or infantilize them.” —Katie Couric
Her recommendation? It’s by no means too late to begin getting energetic—whether or not that’s swimming, pickleball, or one thing else totally. “Don’t let some type of theoretical clock or calendar cease you,” she says. “We proceed to be actually succesful. Generally society tells you you’re not, however in the event you simply ignore that and hold going, you are able to do a variety of great issues for the entire period of your life.”