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News > Feature - Hanscom retiree returns from senior games
Capt. Don Husmann
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Retired Capt. Don Husmann takes a swing during a game of racquetball at the Fitness and Sports Center July 20. Captain Husmann represented Hanscom during the 2011 National Senior Games in Houston. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
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Hanscom retiree returns from senior games

Posted 8/4/2011   Updated 8/4/2011 Email story   Print story


by Public Affairs
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

8/4/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Capt. Don Husmann, a volunteer in the Retiree Activities Office, recently returned to Hanscom from Houston where he participated in the 2011 National Senior Games, sometimes known as the Senior Olympics.

This active 80-year-old is best known at Hanscom for his work in the tax section of the RAO, where income tax returns are prepared and transmitted for members of the military, retirees and civilian base employees. But, during his time in Texas, he was an athlete.

He brought back two fourth place awards, as well as silver medals for his participation in racquetball and table tennis in the 80 to 84 age bracket.

"I not only represented Hanscom, but also Massachusetts," he said. "I have never done so well in prior Senior Olympics, beginning in 1995, with the exception of 2009, which I didn't attend."

Captain Husmann, who spent more than six years as an active duty member in the submarine service of the Navy and the remaining years in the Reserves, was Hanscom's sole participant in this year's games and is also the oldest competitor in both racquetball and table tennis at Hanscom.

The National Senior Games are held every two years, with one session for summer sports and another for winter sports. The venue is different each time. Some 10,000 senior athletes, ages 50 and older, from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the European Senior Games compete in as many as twenty different sports in five-year age increments.

Sports include archery, badminton, three-on-three basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, race walking, racquetball, road racing, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. Awards are given to the top eight competitors in each event, with first through third being medals and fourth through eighth being ribbons.

The oldest competitors in this year's games were a 102-year-old man and a 98-year-old woman. Both of these participants competed in bowling. The man also competed in tennis, both singles and doubles, and the woman competed in track and field, including discus throw.

Participation in the National Senior Games is by invitation only. To earn an invitation, one must compete in one or more state senior games and win a medal. Invitations are limited to those events in which medals were won in the year immediately preceding the national games.

"I usually compete in three state games, sometimes even four," said Captain Husmann.

He competes at the Massachusetts games in June, New Hampshire in August and Maine in September -- in both table tennis and racquetball.

"Sometimes, I try track and field, long jump and discus," he said. "On occasion, I travel to Connecticut for their games."

Information about both the national games and state games is available at www.nsga.com.

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