As the presenting sponsor of the National Senior Games, Humana recognizes game-changing athletes who exemplify healthy aging and motivate and inspire all seniors to live more active lives.
The Humana Game Changers demonstrate how regular physical activity can positively impact overall health. These athletes are from all over the country and participate in various sports, including basketball, bowling, golf, pickleball, swimming, table tennis and track and field.
Ileana Alvarez-Builla, 65, Miami, Florida
As a recreational scuba diver, windsurfer, diver, black belt in karate and competitive table tennis player for the past 40 years, Ileana Alvarez-Builla is a multisport athlete who can do it all. Ileana’s love for table tennis started at 5 years old when her father taught her how to play. At the time, Ileana was so small that her father—a baseball player in the 1950s for Aerovias Q, a private club in Cuba—had to make her a racket that she could hold. Ileana competed in a college championship and won a national league championship in 1979 in Cuba. She competed in table tennis singles and doubles at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Glennon Bazzle, 74, Birmingham, Alabama
A coin flip at age 17 led Glennon Bazzle to his first job in the spa of an athletic club in New Orleans learning about massages, igniting his passion for health and fitness and leading him to the country club scene where he learned to golf. Glennon was hooked on the sport when he received his first set of hand-me-down clubs. After watching the golfers and using his knowledge of the human body to understand golf at the anatomical level, Glennon developed his own swing technique and authored “Anatomy of the Perfect Golf Swing.” He’s been instructing golfers young and old for over 27 years as a member of the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation. He competed in golf at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Fay Bond, 94, Oriental, North Carolina
Fay Bond, also known as the “Sweetheart of Oriental,” discovered her talent for long jumping in the most unexpected way; while she was visiting her husband’s grave, she had to jump over a ditch and found that she was a natural. Through the encouragement of her daughter Irma Fay Bond, she continues to stay active and vows to keep going for as long as she can. Every second Sunday in August since 1969, nearly 400 people attend Fay’s annual watermelon festival in Oriental—rain or shine. Fay competed in shot put, discus and long jump at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Nancy Covington, 85, Clinton, Louisiana
Nancy Covington’s love for horseshoes stemmed from her husband—it was the only thing at which she could beat him! Nancy has participated in all of the National Senior Games except the first one because she was too young! Naturally a very timid person, Nancy says that pitching horseshoes gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone and learn a lot about herself, driving her to keep up her “disgustingly healthy” lifestyle. Nancy was unable to compete at the 2017 National Senior Games; however, she attended to cheer on her friends and other competitors.
Kathleen Fisken, 75, Bethesda, Maryland
Inspired to get in the pool at an early age by her mother, Kathleen Fisken became an avid swimmer starting in high school. Since then, she has competed in multiple specialty swim events, including the One Mile Chesapeake Bay Open and an open-water 2K in Bermuda. When she was diagnosed with uterine cancer in February 2017—and received subsequent treatment in March—Kathleen was motivated to get back in the pool right away so that she could train for the 2017 National Senior Games, where she competed in multiple freestyle, backstroke and individual medley races.
Cory Hartbarger, 90, Asheville, North Carolina
Cory Hartbarger has been throwing shot, discus and javelin since he returned from World War II at age 18 and discovered that he was a natural. Shortly afterward, Cory played professional baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics’ farm system in North Carolina in 1949. His various jobs throughout his life included state trooper, mail carrier, life insurance salesperson, assistant coach for the football and junior varsity basketball teams at Northern Michigan University and athletic director at The Webb School, a private prep school in Tennessee. Cory competed in discus, shot put and javelin at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Hiro Moriyasu, 70, Los Angeles, California
Hiro Moriyasu is a strong believer in embodying “no pain, no gain” to stay young and describes “challenge” as his favorite word. As an avid table tennis player and runner, Hiro is accustomed to setting and achieving goals despite any health obstacles in his way. He started playing table tennis at 16 in Japan, where his team ranked within the top 16 nationally. A muscle injury didn’t deter him from running the Boston Marathon, which he did twice after recovering. Hiro keeps busy by alternating between exercising and tutoring students in English/Japanese. He competed in table tennis and the 5K road race at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Margaret Olawoye, 75, Chicago, Illinois
Margaret Olawoye has never been a “watch and see” kind of woman. After discovering racquetball, she found that no one wanted to face an inexperienced player, which drove her to practice 5 hours a day until she was able to regularly defeat her doubters. Nothing can get in the way of her passion for fierce competition and love for anything sports-related—not even her bad knees or the broken wrist she got playing softball in the 2013 National Senior Games; she was back on the field the day after her cast was removed! The multisport athlete says she’s “like a little kid with sports.” She competed in track and field and pickleball during her 5th National Senior Games in 2017.
Rose Roylo, 88, Radcliff, Kentucky
Rose Roylo’s love of sports began at a young age despite disapproval from her father, who told her to focus more on “girl things.” Rose continued to follow her passion for sports and was voted the best athlete in her high school. Her passion was reinforced after she met her husband, who became her “partner in life, love and in sports” and competed in mixed doubles bowling with her until he passed away. In 2004, Rose received the Meritorious Service Award and a Hall of Fame induction from the Louisville Bowling Association. Rose competed in bowling—singles and doubles—at the 2017 National Senior Games..
Robert Rusbosin, 65, Venice, Florida
Robert Rusbosin had always viewed basketball as being “for kids” before realizing how much fitness affected his health and well-being. While pursuing his passion and teaching middle-school kids in Honduras and Italy, Robert fell in love with the sport all over again. Atrial fibrillation temporarily halted him in 2001, but close monitoring and a procedure allowed him to come back in full force. The retired associate dean of Miami University regional campuses in Ohio, husband and father of 2 hit the courts at the 2017 National Senior Games with his team, the Hamilton Sharks.
Dan Smith, 75, Weston, Ohio
Dan Smith is always on the move, whether he’s tending to the chores on his family’s Ohio farm, walking everywhere in his retirement community or competing in shuffleboard competitions worldwide. He credits Sylvia, his wife of 56 years and shuffleboard partner whom he met on the school bus in high school, as his inspiration. Dan and Sylvia have taken their love for shuffleboard internationally, competing in Australia, Germany, England, Norway, Canada and soon Brazil. He competed in shuffleboard—singles and doubles with his wife—at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Sylvia Smith, 74, Weston, Ohio
Sylvia Smith and Dan, her husband of 56 years, have always been an active couple, dating back to when they would exercise together during their lunch breaks when she worked at Bowling Green State University. Drawn to shuffleboard because it’s a sport she can play with her husband, she is so devoted to the sport that she went back to playing shuffleboard only 3 weeks after hip replacement surgery. Sylvia was even inducted into the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame in Clearwater, Florida. She competed in shuffleboard—singles and doubles with her husband—at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Chris Wallace, 60, Maricopa, Arizona
Not many people are excited to turn 50. However, for Chris Wallace, that meant qualifying for the Senior Games for the first time, and he was thrilled. However, after a year of significant health setbacks—which included knee surgery, a hernia and a heart attack—Chris was ultimately unable to compete that year. Throughout his recovery, he credits his motivation to compete in the Senior Games as helping him move forward and compete the following year. Chris resumed his active lifestyle and recently achieved All-American status in triple jump, his proudest feat to date. He competed in the triple and long jump at the 2017 National Senior Games.
Zoltan “Z” Zsohar, 70, Dallas, Texas
Zoltan “Z” Zsohar has been a cyclist for 30 years. His determination to stay healthy started in his early 30s when he vowed to change his life around and lose weight by following a strict diet. Since then, Z has lost over 50 pounds and has competed in 10 marathons. After he developed arthritis in his knees and was no longer able to run, he began focusing on cycling and annually participated in the Hotter “N” Hell 100 in Wichita Falls. Z checked off one of his bucket list items in 2011 by riding the mountain stages of the Tour de France during the tour. He continues to cycle even after a crash in 2016 led to him breaking his collarbone and a few ribs. Z competed in the 10K Time Trial, 5K Time Trial, 20K Road Race and 40K Road Race at the 2017 National Senior Games.
The next National Senior Games will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 14–25, 2019.
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