North Carolina Pickleball
National Senior Games
NATIONAL SENIOR GAME – USAPA Sanctioned Event – More than 800+ pickleball players will join 10,000 athletes in Birmingham this week to compete in 19 different sports. Athletes are representing all 50 states and nine countries. Before Friday night’s ceremony, athletes began practicing pickleball at the BJCC. “I’m an old tennis player,” said 77-year-old Dick Johnson. “Back fusion put me out of tennis competitively, then I found pickleball.”
Johnson is from Idaho and Arizona. He says pickleball is more than a hobby.
“I’m a diabetic and when I found the game, I lost about 40 pounds which helped,” said Johnson. “And then (I) really started being more disciplined on my eating, so I could be competitive and play at the top of the game and it literally saved my life, literally.” This is one of 19 sports that will be played across fourteen venues.
Pickleball is the only sport where practice started early. Jim Cohen of Minnesota says he’s ready to win. This is his first senior games. “They’re only played once every 2 years,” Cohen said of the Senior Games. “You have to compete in another state championship and won a metal and been invited, so it’s really an honor.” Competition is divided by age brackets. Cohen is almost 75, but he says age is just a number. “I don’t feel a day over 31,” Cohen exclaimed. Source ABC News Birmingham