Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Resident Voices: An Olympian Among Us!

2016 Senior Olympic Trials: Piece of Cake
By Kay Murphy, Resident at Claremont Manor Retirement Community 

So you think you were a swimmer ... back in the day? Well, good for you, but our own
John Abbe is currently swimming and cycling and winning awards in the process. On June 5th, John joined hundreds of senior athletes participating in the Pasadena Senior Games held at some 30 venues through-out LA County between June 4 through 26.

John competed at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, built as the official swimming venue for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and won three medals, first place in both the 25 yard and 50 yard freestyle and third place in the 50-meter freestyle. 2016 is a qualifying year for the National Senior Games which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama June 2- June 15, 2017. John does not plan to participate in Alabama - too far to cycle, no doubt.

John was accompanied by his own private cheering section, which consisted of 25 volunteers who were employees and family members from Front Porch Home Office and Front Porch residential communities (Kingsley Manor and Villa Gardens as well as from Front Porch partner CARING Housing Ministries). Front Porch has been a sponsor and volunteer staff participant in the California Senior Games for several years.

John keeps in shape by swimming at The Claremont Club and a daily round trip trek of almost a mile on his bicycle. He participated in many cycling events over the years and has actually cycled the route of the Tour de France, though not in competition. He worked for the State of California in a variety of management positions from San Diego to Sacramento where he and wife Carol eventually made their home for some 47 years before moving to Claremont Manor a year ago.

One final note includes the ages of the senior athletes. Most are 50-60 and 70 years old. They have a category for participants who are between 80-85, but they don't actually have a category for athletes above that age. This is unfortunate since our Olympian, John Abbe, topped off his 2016 Olympic achievements by celebrating his 89th birthday on June 29. Happy Birthday, John!

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