By Diann Darnall
For Senior Voice 

Something new at any age


June 1, 2017

Diann Darnall photo

Bettie Upright prepares for her discus throw at the 2016 Alaska International Senior Games, At age 101, she'd decided to try some new events in addition to her usual bocce and bowling. She entered and set records in the shot put, javelin, discus and 50-yard dash.

At the age of 101, Bettie Upright continues to show her courage to try something new. In 2016, Bettie expanded her sports of Bocce and bowling in the Alaska International Senior Games to include Track and Field.

As a child growing up in California, her school had a brief introduction to Track and Field just prior to the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. Bettie remembers trying the hurdles and other running events, which she enjoyed very much. The schools at the time were showing their students the different sports that were going to be in the 1932 Olympics. After the Olympics, school sports for girls disappeared and she was never in a track meet.

Fast forward to 2016, Bettie saw the opportunity to participate in the Alaska International Senior Games Track and Field meet. She entered and set records in the shot put, javelin, discus and 50 yard dash. What she found that was more valuable than her gold medals were the friendships and camaraderie she found among her fellow athletes.

To those at the event, Bettie was an instant hero. Even the 94-year olds were inspired by her willingness to take on these new challenges and succeed. Such inspiring memories lingered long after the games and gave everyone renewed hope.

Thinking of trying something new? Or challenging yourself for a personal best? What kind of summer memories do you want?

Diann Darnall photo

Bettie Upright concentrates during the javelin toss at last year's Alaska International Senior Games.

Registration is now open for the 15th Annual Alaska International Senior Games! The 2017 AISG Senior Games will be August 11-20 in Fairbanks. There will be over 65 events in 20 different sports including: Bocce, basketball, bowling, archery, cycling, golf, horseshoes, swimming, 5K & 10K road race, racquetball, gala games, indoor shooting, tennis, mini-golf, Pickleball, table tennis, track and field, trap shoot, triathlon, disc golf, and coed ice hockey.

The Games are for those age 50 and older, with the exception of ice hockey, where women can be as young as 45. AISG offers seniors the opportunity to compete with peers in activities that enhance fitness, health and quality of life. If you like to laugh and have fun, this event is for you.

For details on registering and more information on the events and activities, go to or call 907-978-2388.

Diann Darnall is the AISG board president.


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