Annual Senior Games underway

Mayor Dailey and athlete Jewel Vickers holding torch. Photo courtesy: Isaac Williams

Tallahassee kicked off the annual Senior Games Wednesday with a torch run. The event took place behind the Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park.

City employees and senior citizens alike came together to walk the torch around the amphitheater collectively. Mayor John Dailey first lit the torch and then handed it to various athletes in attendance, much like the Olympics.

Tallahassee is known to many as a college town that can be slow-moving for those not involved in that culture. However, for the past 13 years, the Senior Games of Tallahassee have shown that this does not ring true for everyone.

Photo courtesy: Isaac Williams

Jewel Vickers, 77, was the last person to receive the torch and return it to its starting point. Vickers said she has consistently participated in the Senior Games for the past 13 years.

“My friend and I have participated in the Senior Games since it started. I wish more people knew how much they are capable of; they should come out and try,” she said.

Vickers was referring to her friend Delores Chavis, 76, also the reigning bean bag toss champ. Vickers and Chavis had a showdown in the finals last year. Even with Chavis coming out victorious, she said it wasn’t easy to go against her friend.

“It’s always hard playing against friends, but the competition is still fun. When we aren’t playing against one another, we are on the sideline cheering the other on,” she said.

Sheila Salyer, senior services manager at the Tallahassee Senior Center, said that the Senior Games continue to expand their reach.

“The Senior Games continue to grow here in Tallahassee every year. We have 50 and 90-year-olds participating. These athletes get over the societal expectations of their age and just come out to have a good time.”

The turnout for the torch run was great to see in the community, as everyone came together to celebrate the start of upcoming events.

Mayor Dailey gave a brief speech and, when interviewed, spoke highly of the games. He said he believes that it is an excellent series of events for the local community.

“The Senior Games is a great event in Tallahassee and has grown over the past 14 years. It really gives an amazing opportunity to highlight the active seniors in our community,” Dailey said.

The games will run through March 14 and will include various sports, such as basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, swimming and pickleball, to name a few.

For information about participation and attendance, visit