|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 6, 2019
Ribbon Cutting and Cycling Time Trials Open 2019 Florida Senior Games
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The 2019 Florida Senior Games presented by Humana opened its 10-day competition Friday, welcoming the first of over 1,500 athletes to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County area.
To kick off the 2019 competition, the Florida Senior Games partnered with Mayor Hazelle Rogers of Lauderdale Lakes to host an opening ribbon cutting celebration at the City of Lauderdale Lakes Multi-Purpose Building.
The afternoon featured guest appearances by Ed Simon, Executive Vice President of Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB; Marvin E. Green, Jr., Vice President of Amateur Sports with the Florida Sports Foundation; Senator Perry E. Thurston, Jr.; and Angela Adams Suggs, President & CEO of the Florida Sports Foundation.
After opening remarks from Mayor Rogers and President Suggs, Senator Thurston welcomed the athletes, directors, and spectators to the community and invited each to participate in Saturday’s Bid Whist at Mitchell Moore Park in Pompano.
Following the official ribbon cutting, Suggs awarded the “first” gold medals to Simon, Saskia Fisher, Senior Manager of Sports Business Development with the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Mayor Rogers, Nyoka Stewart, the 50+ Statewide Seniors Dominoes Chairman, and Babatunde Epoyun, Broward County Senior Games director. Also receiving a gold medal was 85-year old Eulalee Bax, who answered the call when Mayor Rogers asked the crowd, “Is there anyone here 85 or older?” Bax promptly raised her hand and declared she was 89.
Besides the ceremonial opening, Games athletes left the starting line with the first competition, the Cycling 5K Time Trials at Scott Park in Miami Gardens.
Returning to Florida Senior Games Cycling competition for the first time since 2016, Eric Lippens, of Naples, picked up right where he left off three years ago.
Lippens set a new 5K Time Trials record in the 75-79 age group, crossing the finish line with a time of 7:46. Lippens also holds the 5K record in the 65-69 age group, which he set in 2013. His participation in the Florida Senior Games dates back to 2007 when he won the 5K Time Trials gold medal in the 60-64 age group.
The top overall men’s time of the morning was turned in by Peter Wimberg, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who rode the course in 7:14, to win the gold medal in the 55-59 age group. Wimberg is also the 55-59 age group age group record holder with the top overall time of Games in 2017, when he completed the 5K course in 6:26.
Gary Smith, of Indialantic, became the first recumbent cyclist to compete in the 80-84 age group and his time of 9:00 established an age group record.
Marie Volkhardt Rossnagle, of Sarasota, turned in the top women’s time, with a 8:10, to win the 55-59 age group.
The Games continue Saturday with action in six sports. All events of the 2019 Florida Senior Games are free and the public is encouraged to attend.