Residents at Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center will have the chance to fulfill their dreams of becoming an Olympic star because this month, the facility will be hosting its very own 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Help us share these fun activities and celebrate our athletes. Join us for any of the sporting events and enjoy the competition, or come meet the athletes and celebrate during the medal ceremony where we will be awarding gold, silver and bronze medals on an Olympic style stage,” marketing director Jamie Vilinskas said.
With the 2016 Olympics starting in Rio, she said this activity would be a great way for the residents to feel like they’re a part of what’s going on.
“We don’t have a holiday in August, so we decided to use the Olympics for our theme for this month ... it is relatable nationally and everybody likes sports. So we have adapted it so they are able to do it in their own way,” activities director Ester Desantiago said.
Over a dozens residents gathered in the facility dining hall for tryouts Thursday afternoon. During tryouts, residents had the opportunity to try out each event and see which they enjoy best.
“Once they figure out what they want and what they’re good at, we’re going to have an actual competition,” Vilinskas said.
Events include shot put and javelin, table tennis, basketball, archery and discus, miniature golf and volleyball.
The shot put is done with medicine balls and participants will use pool noodles for the javelin competition. Nerf bows will be used for the archery competition, frisbees for the discus competition and balloons for the volleyball competition.
Competitions will run until Wednesday, Aug. 24, when the medals ceremony will be held.
The shot put and javelin competition will be held Aug. 10 at 2 p.m., table tennis will held on Aug. 8 at 2 p.m., and the basketball event will be Aug. 16 at 9:45 a.m. On Aug. 17 the archery and discus events will take place at 2 p.m. with miniature golf on Aug. 18 at 9:30 a.m and volleyball on Aug. 23 at 9:30 a.m.
Medals will be awarded by former U.S. Olympian Richard “Rink” Babka, silver winner for the American Discus team during the 1960 Rome Olympics. There will be a gold, silver and bronze medal in every category.
All the residents were enthused and excited about the Olympic activities to take place at the facility.
“It sounds like something fun to do and it’s a chance to be with the other people here. And I may win,” Shirley Klinker, a resident, said when asked why she decided to participate in tryouts. She is looking forward to participating in table tennis the most.
“I always liked to play badminton, and that is out of the question now. So, table tennis is next,” she said.
It’s important for the residents to have an Olympics because it gives them something to look forward to and participate in, Klinker said. It also gives them a chance to win a medal.
Resident Joy Schmidt said that while she enjoyed the archery tryout, she didn’t think she did very well. She said she is looking forward to the basketball competition because she is ready to win some prizes.
“What do we win? Money?” she asked.
After being informed she had a chance to win a medal she said, “OK, I’m going for a medal.”
She said it’s important that residents have the Olympics because when they have activities to participate in there’s no room to get bored.
Jon Ibarra, who has been living in the facility for almost three years, said the tryouts seemed interesting and decided to come because he wanted to see what was going to happen.
He is looking forward to the golf, discus and volleyball competitions because he enjoyed those sports before he moved into the facility and discus just seems like something he might enjoy.
He said having an Olympics event is important because it helps him and the other residents to stay active.
“Everybody around here knows the Olympics and so these are games that everybody recognizes, and they’re just a little bit altered because the condition people are in nowadays,” he said.