99-year-old participates in one of AISG's headline events

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 17:00 -- Administrator

FAIRBANKS-Today the 11th Alaska International Senior Games continued and Weeks Field was the site for arguably one of the most popular sports of AISG.Bocce.

Bocce is essentially curling on grass and the interest has been growing much like pickle ball another popular event among seniors. 120 competitors signed up for Bocce this year setting a new record for participants.

Players aim and throw their bocce balls and try to get the closest to the white jack or pallino-that determines the winner. You can get bonus points if you hit the jack. There were was doubles and singles double elimination tournaments this afternoon.

Kay Fyten won the Gold for the women's 55-59 age group while Rick Robertson won men's gold. Rick Borman won gold for the 65-69 men's age group. Goldie Southwind got gold for the 70-74 women's division. Colleen Redman won for the 80-84 women and John Boulette won the men's division.

Out of the 120 bocce players one has seniority over all of them. Ms. Bettie Upright. She is 99 years old and is the oldest AISG competitor.

Mrs. Upright also bowls. She'll be competing tomorrow night in singles on the Arctic Bowl lanes. She says AISG keeps her going and she is impressed with the growth of the games over the years.

"As long as I'm physically able well I'll try to participate and I'm glad to see the big turnout. We started out with barely 100 people the first year. Jim Madonna brought it to our town and put in $30,000 of his own money to get is started because there was no funding or anything," Upright said. "So it's grown now-370 person participating, which is very wonderful."

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