CONWAY, Ark.- The annual District 1 Senior Olympics competition was one of the largest turnouts with more than 750 people in attendance at the Conway Expo Center.
The theme for this year’s event is “Wizard of Oz” with 27 different nursing home facilities represented.
Alpha Caudle, 100, was just one of the seasoned Olympians who competed at Tuesday’s event. She says age is just a number.
“I am one-hundred, eight months and a few days old,” says Caudle. “For me, it’s very important that I get to take a part in whatever I am able to do and what I a can’t and others can I like to watch them.
At 100 years old, she is quick-witted, has a sharp memory and mobile.
“I remember when the stock market crashed in 1929 and both men and women committed suicide,” she says.
Caudle competed in the bean bag toss event againts 10 other seniors in her age category. Although she didn’t place or win a trophy, Caulde says she still enjoys competing.
“I like to toss the bean bags,” she says. “I’m left-handed and can’t through a horseshoe.”
Events include a wheelchair race, discus throw, shot put, bean bag toss, horseshoe throw, and dance contest. Age categories for men and women include ages 50 and younger, ages 50 to 72 and 73 and older.
“I like to sing Gospel music, play bingo and dance,” Caudle says.
Caudle was the oldest person at the event and says the secret to a long happy life is putting God first.
“I let God take control and I do the rest,” she says while smiling.
However, if you ask her how old she feels, she will give you an answer that will surely make you chuckle.
“I seen in a Reader’s Digest one time if you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you want to be – I said 36,” says Caudle laughing.
Caulde stays at the Salem Place Nursing & Rehab facility in Conway. She has 4 children and 8 grandchildren.
She doesn’t consider herself strong or an Olympian but in life, Caulde says, she believes she was blessed.