Athletes from all over flock to Cleveland for 2013 National Senior Games

Registrants fill Cleveland's new convention center

CLEVELAND - Elise Rossi waited patiently at a Cleveland Convention Center registration booth for her turn in line to check in for the National Senior Games 2013.

"It took three hours for me to get here by bus from Baldwin Wallace College," said Rossi.

Rossi had arrived from her native Canada where she had won gold in her 90-94 age bracket in the Canadian Senior Games earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the booth required an ID to confirm her registration was going to the correct Elsie Rossi. Elsie couldn't find it in her backpack that had spent three very humid RTA hours traveling there.

"I had it when I crossed the Canadian border. I don't know what I did with it," said Rossi.

Fortunately, officials were able to confirm who Rossi was; a very talented 90-year-old shot putter and javelin thrower.

Polly Dennison arrived with her entire softball team from Memphis, Tennessee. Named "Serious Fun" her team is ready for Cleveland's humidity.

"We've been practicing three hours a day in the Tennessee heat and humidity. We like it like this. The more games we play and the hotter the weather, the more the humidity, the better off we like it," said coach Robert Hall.

Dennison broke her arm diving for a fly ball right before the games.

"I kept playing because I didn't know I broke it. Then it swelled up," said 59-year-old Dennison. "You don't know if you'll be back in two years, so it's very disappointing and I might cry if I talk about it too much."

Richard Tierney traveled from Honolulu, Hawaii for these games. The 56-year-old badminton player has had a love for the game for more than 30 years. Introduced to the game by an old girlfriend whom initially beat him, he's been hooked ever since. Tierney is about to compete in his third Senior Games.

"I won second place in singles the first year, third place two years ago in Houston, so I feel my time has come," said Tierney.

Playing by himself on one side of the Convention Center's new courts against two competitors, Tierney showed off his quick footwork.

"It's funny when people tell me I'm pretty quick. I have to laugh because in high school I was the slowest kid. But, I am pretty quick on the court these days," Tierney said.

Opening ceremonies begin Friday, The games run through Aug. 1.

For information on the many venues to see the senior athletes compete go to www.Cleveland2013.com or call 216-479-6361.

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