2017 Humana Game Changers

Humana, presenting sponsor of the National Senior Games, is recognizing 15 athletes who exemplify healthy aging and provide encouragement, motivation and inspiration for all seniors to start with healthy as Humana Game Changers.

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. Humana Game Changers demonstrate how regular physical activity can positively impact overall health, inspire others to pursue a healthy lifestyle – no matter their age or athletic ability – and prove great things are ahead of you when your health is ready for them.

The National Senior Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on June 2-15, 2017.

Read on for more about the Humana Game Changers. Also, please visit www.nsga.com (link opens in new window) for information about the National Senior Games, including how to volunteer.

Ileana Alvarez-Builla, 65, Miami, FL

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 five 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. Ileana will compete in table tennis singles and doubles at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Glennon Bazzle, 74, Birmingham, AL

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 “The Anatomy of the Perfect Swing.” He’s been instructing golfers young and old for over 27 years as a member of the United States Golf Teachers Federation. He will compete in golf at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Fay Bond, 94, Oriental, NC

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 will compete in shot put, discus and long jump at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Irma Fay Bond, 67, Oriental, NC

Irma Fay Bond was an All-Conference and MVP athlete in track and field in high school and has broken all the running long jump records for the 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69 age groups in North Carolina. Irma’s love for sports started at an early age when she would play tag football with her brothers. Irma continued her involvement in sports as a student activity coordinator at a local college. Over the years, Irma has shared her love for sports and healthy living with her mother Fay Bond. Irma will compete in the 50-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter races, as well as long jump, at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Nancy Covington, 85, Clinton, LA

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 for the first one because she was too young! Naturally a very timid and insecure 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 recently injured her wrist and will no longer compete, but still plans to attend the 2017 National Senior Games to cheer on her on her friends and competitors.

Kathleen Fisken, 75, Bethesda, MD

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. Kathleen will compete this year in multiple freestyle, backstroke and individual medley races.

Cory Hartbarger, 90, Asheville, NC

Cory Hartbarger has been throwing shot put, discus and javelin since he returned from WWII 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 salesman, assistant coach for the football and junior varsity basketball teams at Northern Michigan University and athletic director at Webb School, a private prep school in Tennessee. Although Cory has had several health concerns, such as heart surgery, the removal of a tumor in his lip and arthritis in his knees, nothing can stop him as he vows to keep moving. Cory will compete in discus, shot put and javelin at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Hiro Moriyasu, 70, Los Angeles, CA

Hiro 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 the age of 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. Hiro will compete in table tennis and the 5K road race at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Margaret Olawoye, 75, Chicago, IL

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 five 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 multi-sport athlete says she’s “like a little kid with sports,” and is preparing to compete in track & field and pickleball during her fifth National Senior Games.

Rose Roylo, 88, Radcliff, KY

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 will compete in bowling – singles and doubles – at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Robert Rusbosin, 65, Venice, FL

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 two is ready to hit the courts at the 2017 National Senior Games with his team, the Hamilton Sharks.

Dan Smith, 75, Weston, OH

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 will compete in shuffleboard – singles and doubles with his wife – at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Sylvia Smith, 74, Weston, OH

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 three weeks after hip replacement surgery. Sylvia was recently inducted to the National Shuffleboard Hall of Fame in Clearwater, Florida. She will compete in shuffleboard – singles and doubles with her husband – at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Chris Wallace, 60, Maricopa, AZ

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—Wallace 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. Wallace resumed his active lifestyle and recently achieved All-American status in triple jump, his proudest feat to date. Wallace will compete in the triple and long jump at the 2017 National Senior Games.

Zoltan “Z” Zsohar, 70, Dallas, TX

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 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 collar bone and a few ribs. Z will compete in the 10K Time Trial, 5K Time Trial, 20K Road Race and 40K Road Race at the 2017 National Senior Games.