August 28, 2012
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - “You don’t quit playing because you get old. You get old because you quit playing,” says George Huson, 83, a resident of Asbury Methodist Village and role model for the millions of older adults who refuse to take aging sitting down. Huson, who has been the Montgomery County representative to the Maryland Senior Olympics Commission for about 15 years, is busy gearing up for Sept. 8, when he will compete in four Maryland Senior Olympics swimming events at the Germantown Indoor Swim Center.
A swim team member in high school and college, Huson may not beat Michael Phelps anytime soon, but his fitness regimen is impressive at any age. He swims about 400 yards in 15 minutes three times a week at the indoor pool at Asbury Methodist Village, a continuing care retirement community. The pool is 20 yards long, so that’s 20-25 lengths back and forth, he says. He clocks himself with his wristwatch to “keep in check.”
A serious recreational volleyball player, Huson also competed in the games’ volleyball competition on Aug. 18, bringing home the gold medal. “My team got the medal by default, because there was only one team age 75-plus,” he joked, “but it showed we’re still alive and kicking.”
Huson has competed in the Maryland Senior Olympics for 20 years, winning at least a silver medal in swimming almost every year, ribbons in volleyball and a third place medal in the high jump a few years ago. When asked how many swimming medals he has won, he explained, “It would be impossible to count. There are only a few swimmers racing in my age group. I just love to compete.”
In addition, Huson has encouraged other Asbury Methodist Village residents to participate and will join members of his Asbury table tennis group competing Sept. 29, that includes Bob Wood, 81; Earl Sulmonetti, 81; and Peg Lawrence, 85. Residents Artha Jean Snyder, 87, and Ed Crockett, 88, will compete in bocce, Sept. 17.
More than 2,000 athletes compete in the Maryland Senior Olympics. Men and women can compete in about 20 sports and more than three dozen events. Age-group competitions are conducted for mature adults from age 50 into their 80s and above. Competition continues through Sept. 30.
Asbury Methodist Village is a CARF-CCAC and EAGLE-accredited continuing care retirement community that is part of Asbury, a management organization providing life-enhancing services for older adults. Asbury is ranked by LeadingAge and Ziegler Capital Markets Group’s AZ 100 as the 15th-largest not-for-profit multi-site senior living organization in the country. Asbury Methodist Village is also a member of LifeSpan Network.