Halfway through Thursday, Vancouver athlete Christa Bortignon had set two world records at the B.C. Seniors Games in the 100-metre and hurdle events.
The 76-year-old still had some track and field events to go, but she was grinning at the thought of her success so far.
Bortignon trains three times a day, but only began competing in the games three years ago. As of noon Thursday, her world record count was 13.
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The B.C. Senior Games are all about camaraderie for 83-year-old Lenore Montgomery of North Vancouver.
“It’s a very nice and supportive bunch,” she said just before the women’s 400-metre race Thursday.
The shorter run isn’t her strong suit — she’s a distance runner. But she was the only competitor in her age category, so she figured she probably got gold.
Montgomery has made it to most of the seniors’ games since 1990, although she’s seen the focus on competition increase in recent years.
For her, the event is all about friendship.
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So many seniors, so many stories.
As Peggy and George Morfitt watched the women’s hammer throw event Thursday, she confessed that she didn’t start competing until she was 62 years old.
Her children did track and cross country running, and she was the dutiful homemaker who washed the socks afterward.
Now she’s the one getting the socks dirty. Her husband normally competes in tennis, but he is sitting out this year due to a hip injury.
But she recalled another friend who was also absent from this year’s games. The woman’s husband was sick, so she had to stay home. She had also survived cancer and a double mastectomy.
Her friend now tells Morfitt: “We’re still buddies. We’re not bosom buddies, but we’re still buddies.”
Morfitt said many of the seniors’ game athletes have stories about overcoming all kinds of things in their lives.
“There are a lot of stories,” she said.