Age-division medals deliver surprise and joy at the Empire Senior Games

There was drama in every division at the Empire Senior Games pickleball tournament. Not because of bad behavior or anything like that. The drama came during the medal ceremonies.

Some of the age divisions were merged because of low numbers, but when it came time to hand out medals, the original age divisions were honored. Inevitably, a team that thought they were out of the medal running won a medal in their age division.

I was announcing the medals for the 3.5 mixed doubles in the merged 70 and above division.

When I called the gold medal winners for the 85 and above winner, nobody came forward. I announced the players’ names a few more times over the PA system, and a couple on the other side of the field house perked up and realized they had won a medal. The team jogged over hand in hand.

First, I hope I can still play pickleball – and jog! – when I’m 85+. Second, I hope I am as happy as this pair looked.

The Capital Region won more than 50 medals at the tournament. It is too many to list. Here are the photos I was able to pull together: Capital Region pickleball players win more than 50 medals at NY Empire State Senior Games 2023