Perhaps Joyce Jones still smarts from the first time she played her future husband, Don, in badminton more than 50 years ago. She had been quite the high-school player...
Perhaps Joyce Jones still smarts from the first time she played her future husband, Don, in badminton more than 50 years ago. She had been quite the high-school player, able to beat the boys and all.
But he won the toss, got the serve and not only skunked her 15-0, but never even gave up his serve.
Today, Jones, 76, has collected 250 national, international and world badminton championships. She is ranked No. 1 in the nation in both badminton and tennis for her age group.
“I love competition,” she says, stating the obvious. “If I didn’t have competition, I probably wouldn’t be so enthusiastic . . . I hate walking and running.”
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Don, 80, played mainly for fun and camaraderie until getting injured about a year ago.
The pair partnered with the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department seven years ago to help resurrect the Greater Seattle Senior Games event, which wraps up today at various locations. Participants compete in a wide range of solo and team events in their age groups, starting at 50-54 and going up to plus 90. There are a few more events today. For details, see www.greaterseattleseniorgames.org.
The games emphasize exercise and competition as a means to health and fun.
Sport has kept Jones young, but it — and her never-quit attitude — has worn out certain body parts. She has had nine surgeries the past 30 years, on her shoulders, ankle, knees, etc.
“I find it very difficult to admit to myself that I can’t do everything that I could do 30 years ago!”
Thankfully, she has discovered another exercise, a noncompetitive one: yoga. And despite her rankings and medals, she defines fit as “being able to live a happy life.”