Athletes gather at the arch for 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games
Over 850 Veteran athletes gathered in St. Louis to kick off the 26th National Veterans Golden Age Games with an opening ceremony hosted by Cardinals Hall of Fame Shortstop Ozzie Smith. The ceremony also featured the presentation of the Olympic flag by six former Olympians as part of the St. Louis Alumni Professional Athletes Salute to Veterans.
Olympians Lou Vitucci (1964 – Diving), John Carenza (1972 – Soccer), Jim “Soup” Campbell (1994 – Hockey), Stacey Smith, M.D. (1980 – Ice Dancing), Jim Chapin (1976, ’80, ’84 – Speed Skating), and Craig Virgin (1976, ’80, ’84 – Athletics) were joined by several professional athletes from St. Louis including Pro Tennis and Table Tennis Player Veteran Wally Gundlach who served in Korea for the salute during the ceremony.
Veteran athletes from 42 states will compete in 14 events, nine of which are qualifying events for the 2013 National Senior Games, over the next five days. The National Veterans Golden Age Games is the largest sports and recreation competition for Veterans age 55 and up in the world.