You’re never too old to win the gold, and that was definitely the case for several of the residents at the Vienna Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
The center held its 2016 Summer Olympics Medals Ceremony in its dining facility Wednesday afternoon.
At least 35 Vienna residents participated in Vienna’s own version of the Olympic games that included six events occurring over the past two weeks.
Events included archery, table tennis, volleyball, shot put, javelin and discus.
Winners of the events were awarded gold, sliver and bronze medals on their very own wheelchair-accessible Olympic stair step while several participants were awarded roses for their participation. Rink Babka, who won the silver medal for discus in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, did the honors of presenting the winners with their medals and carrying the torch.
Babka is a former world record-holder for discus. He continued to compete as a discus thrower until 1969, when he retired to devote himself to various business pursuits.
“I had hip replacement last year and had rehab here at Vienna, and I just know the people that run it are wonderful people and it’s wonderful place to be if you have to be some where like this,” Babka said. “I like to come back to help because I realize that some of these people have been forgotten and there some people that need some attention, and its fun.”
Fern Miner, 88, was the top medalist receiving a medal in five events, with two being gold — table tennis and discus.
“I feel pretty great. I didn’t think I would win all these medals,” Miner said.
When she was younger she used to play table tennis and regular tennis.
Ninety-two-year-old Eva Valenti brought home a bronze medal in javelin while 90-year-old Inez Flory won a gold medal for archery. Both nonagenarians were excited about their wins.
“I feel honored, and I enjoyed playing all of the games,” Flory said.
Centenarians Kati Logeman and Orma Pritchard are were two of the oldest residents to participate in the games this year. Logeman is 108 and Pritchard is 105.
Vienna Administrator Corey Wright was pleased with the activity and gave a special thanks to all the staff members that helped to make it happen.
“This was a great event,” Wright said. “I hope all the athletes had fun participating, and the camaraderie the good spirit, the sportsmanship and bringing everybody together, that’s what the Olympics are all about.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, residents enjoyed apple pie and ice cream as a celebratory dessert.