Date: August 17, 2007, 2007
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
University Park, IL, August 17, 2007 – The hours in the pool, swimming laps, practicing strokes, increasing speed, and building stamina paid off for Helen Freeman of Olympia Fields and Alice Hanes of Crete.
The friends have long enjoyed swimming together at the Governors State University Fitness and Recreation Center swimming pool. This summer, they also enjoyed competing together in the National Senior Olympics in Louisville, Kentucky.
Hanes, who competes in the 75 to 79 year olds category, won first place gold medals in the 500-yard and the 200-yard freestyle, second place medals in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke, a third place medal in the 100-yard backstroke, and a fourth place ribbon in the 50-yard backstroke.
Freeman competes in the 80 to 84 year olds category. She earned a seventh place ribbon in the 200-yard backstroke and an eighth place ribbon in the 100-yard backstroke.
The two women enjoy the exercise, the competition, and the friendship swimming brings them. The Senior Games are held every two years and include 12,000 athletes from every state competing in 800 events in 18 different sports. The games promote healthy life styles for adults and camaraderie among competitors.
According to Freeman, swimming, both in practice and competition, promotes friendship and good times. “It is wonderful to go to the games and see people from all over the country. You get to know your competition. It is very welcoming.”
Both Freeman and Hanes are looking forward to the next Senior Olympic Games to be held in San Francisco in 2009.
“The games give me a goal and help me stay fit and active. Because of them, I swim more and push myself more,” said Hanes. “It keeps me going.”
“You swim slower as you get older, but we work harder now than we did before,” said Freeman. “You let everyone know that we Chicago ladies did us proud.”