Many seniors in our community came out to compete against one another for the 6th annual Kern County Senior Games including Olympic gold medalist, Jake Varner.
Varner, helped kick things off at Rosewood Senior Living Center, watching and cheering as his grandfather competes for gold.
Like many seniors in Kern County, Varner’s grandfather spent months training for the senior Olympics.
"I just asked him, if he's ready to win, to smash some people, but he just laughed and said he was going to have some fun, just come out here, smile and have fun," said Varner.
Athletes participated in several competitions including a rock wall climb, a 2k walk and Wii bowling.
"I think it really means a lot to them. Just obviously when people just come visit them in general, family, friends - it means a lot, but to see them compete and have their moment, it's something special to them I think," said Varner.
Organizers say the games are designed to encourage successful living among seniors while building strength and endurance.
"We actually had a guy say that he use to play horseshoe back in the old day and him and his friends go out and he felt like a champion doing it," said Caitlyn Hill, volunteer with the senior Olympics.
The games are also a chance for seniors to motivate each other and inspire many of the people who watch each competition.
"They're all full of energy and smiling and laughing, just still going strong and it's really encouraging to come out," she said.
The Bakersfield Police Department’s Christmas for Seniors Program and Alzheimer’s Research benefits from the Senior Olympics.
Varner says his grandfather won gold in the mile walk competition.