Kitimat’s Dorothy Cheyne has spent 25 years proving that being a senior doesn’t mean being old.
Cheyne is marking 2012 as her 25th year as a Zone 10 athlete for the B.C. Seniors’ Games Society, which formed in 1987.
Zone 10 represents Kitimat, Terrace, Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and the Nass Valley.
Cheyne attended the first BC Seniors Games competition in 1988, the first time the event was held. She was 59 at the time.
Cheyne has a scrapbook filled to the brim with photos and news clippings from 25 years of competitions. Many of the athletes within the pages are now no longer with us.
In fact she said she is the only Kitimat athlete still left alive from the 1988 Games. Other Zone 10 athletes marking their 25th year in the society are Terrace’s Betty Nordstrom and Bob Goodvin, and Prince Rupert’s Mary Arneson.
“I was on the first executive,” said Cheyne, who served as secretary for a year. “[We] got the thing going anyway.”
Cheyne, now 84, started off as a tennis athlete — of which she taught at the Riverlodge — and has since competed in 10-pin bowling and, this year, floor curling.
“As you get older you do things that are not quite so hard,” she said.
Even as she takes less intensive sports each year, she still remains committed to winning.
“I’m competitive, I want to win,” she said, adding, “I’ve got oodles of medals.”
In 1988 she won a silver medal with her tennis partner who was from Terrace, and she said she has received a medal for nearly every year she’s gone off to compete.
All year long she has been practicing floor curling in anticipation of this August’s Games in Burnaby and will keep on practicing until the end of July when they’ll take a break.
It is anticipated that 3,200 people will attend the Games this year, which run August 21 to 25.
It is widely considered by organizers that the BC Seniors Games is the best alternative health care program in the province.
More information about the Games can be found online at www.bcseniorsgames.org.
As for Cheyne, she has certainly enjoyed her time and said she has plans to continue competing for as long as she’s able. “It’s fun,” she said. “You can have fun and still win.”