By Mackenzie Stewart
Senior Voice 

Alaska International Senior Games begin Aug. 10 in Fairbanks


August 1, 2018

Courtesy AISG

Bettie Upright, right, carries the torch at the 2017 Alaska International Senior Games in Fairbanks. She will be back in the torch lighting ceremony this year and at age 103 will be the Games' oldest competitor. She holds AISG records in the shot put, discus, javelin and 50-meter dash.

The 2018 Alaska International Senior Games (AISG), held August 10-19 in Fairbanks, will kick off with the Opening Ceremonies and Gala Games at Pioneer Park's Alaska Centennial Center for the Arts on August 10, 6 p.m. The annual torch lighting ceremony sets the tone for AISG's 65 events, including 20 different sports ranging from team sports like basketball and tennis to individual sports like swimming and archery.

"All athletes over 90 will have a torch in the torch lighting ceremony," said Diann Darnall, president of AISG. "Our oldest participating athlete, Bettie Upright, will be the final torch bearer this year."

Some 350 to 400 athletes will be competing, with 35 athletes hailing from across the country, representing states like California, Wyoming, Utah, Illinois, West Virginia and Florida to name a few, said Darnall.

"We also have a team from Ontario, Canada which we're looking forward to!" she added.

This year, power walking, typically considered part of track and field, will become its own event.

"Power walking is a qualifier for Nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June 2019 in addition to track and field, table tennis, cycling and a number of other events," said Darnall. "We're hoping to send a good team from Alaska this year."

Social events include a Dance Social hosted by Ballroom Dance Club at Pioneer Dance Hall on August 17, 7 p.m., and the Celebration of Athletes on August 19 at UAF Museum of the North, 6 p.m.

"Athletes will get to review the games and gather to talk to new people," said Darnall. "It's an awesome opportunity for seniors to engage socially."

Registration ended July 25, but that doesn't mean latecomers can't join in on the fun: volunteers are needed with just about every aspect of the events, and all events are free for spectators.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit or call 978-2388.


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