Katie Couric on the Nationwide Senior Video games 2023


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This month, 1000’s of athletes over age 50 will collect in Pittsburgh for Humana’s Nationwide Senior Video games 2023, the place they’ll compete on the highest degree in every part from swimming to trace and area to basketball to volleyball, amongst different sports activities.

Name them inspiring. Name them fierce. Name them highly effective. Simply please, don’t name them “cute,” says Katie Couric, the legendary journalist who this yr is appearing as a spokesperson for the video games, generally often known as the “Senior Olympics.”

For Couric, sharing the tales of those top-tier athletes isn’t simply concerning the thrill of the competitors (which is thrilling certainly—clips from the occasion typically go viral). It’s about busting myths about what older persons are and aren’t presupposed to do, and selling the significance of being lively as you age. “I like the message of staying vibrant and wholesome,” she says. “Significantly now that I’m 66, so I’m one of many individuals who is ageing and staying very lively.”

Nicely+Good spoke to Couric about her personal health routine, the ageism older athletes face, and the Senior Video games opponents she’ll be rooting for.

The Senior Video games athletes inspiring Couric

Of all of the opponents she’s spoken to, a number of tales stand out to Couric.

One is Willie Spuill, who was a veteran fighting myriad well being points when he rediscovered operating in his 60s—then swept his monitor occasions at his first Senior Video games. “This has opened up part of him that basically wanted to be channeled and expressed and shared,” says Couric.

For DeEtte Sauer, studying to swim, and ultimately changing into one of the crucial embellished athletes on the Video games (final yr she gained eight gold medals—the identical as Michael Phelps on the Beijing Olympics, Sauer proudly shared with Couric) was key to her restoration from alcoholism.

And at 94, Dwight Smith shall be competing for gold in basketball alongside his son, Terry. His granddaughter, Christie, shall be making her Senior Video games debut in pickleball.

“You see the transformation in these of us once they become involved in a sport,” says Couric. “However sport is just a part of it—it’s being with different folks.”

How Couric stays lively herself

As a longtime advocate for well being and wellness, it’s no shock that Couric’s personal health routine is intensive and ever-growing. An avid tennis and pickleball participant (“I used to be an early pickleball adopter,” she says), she additionally began Pilates through the pandemic, “as a result of sitting a lot actually made me stiff, and I wanted to work on my core power.”

She’s additionally a giant walker, “particularly as a result of I used to be identified with breast most cancers a yr in the past,” says Couric. “I’ve to take these aromatase inhibitors, which may generally have a damaging impact in your bone density, so I do a whole lot of strolling and weight-bearing workout routines.”

She’s additionally engaged on her stability, aware of its rising significance later in life to stop falls. And, like most of us, she’s attempting to really stretch repeatedly.

Couric provides that she’s taking some inspiration from the Senior Video games athletes she’s interviewed: “I actually need to learn to swim,” she says. “I understand how to swim, however I’ve by no means been capable of do it with out getting actually winded, so I feel I should be doing one thing incorrect—I used to be enthusiastic about taking swimming classes this summer season.”

On ageism and taking older athletes severely

Couric says she hasn’t personally encountered any stereotypes about ageing, “as a result of I defy them every day and ignore anybody who would underestimate me or attempt to marginalize me,” she says. “I pity the idiot.”

However, she acknowledges that such stereotypes completely exist. “We’ve got to combat towards the tendency to underestimate older folks, or infantilize them,” she says. “I get actually mad when folks say ‘Oh, she’s so cute’ about anyone who’s actually completed. Folks might not take older folks as severely as they need to, however I all the time assume, when you’re fortunate, you’re gonna be one.”

“We’ve got to combat towards the tendency to underestimate older folks, or infantilize them.” —Katie Couric

Her recommendation? It’s by no means too late to begin getting lively—whether or not that’s swimming, pickleball, or one thing else fully. “Don’t let some kind of theoretical clock or calendar cease you,” she says. “We proceed to be actually succesful. Typically society tells you you’re not, however when you simply ignore that and maintain going, you are able to do a whole lot of great issues for the entire period of your life.”


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