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Tempe, AZ, WPH Press, 2/22/18– The U.S. went to South Korea for the winter Olympics, but Arizona had their winter Olympics in Tempe, AZ – Senior Olympics that is!! No snow or ice, just plenty of sunshine, 70-degree weather, and a lot of handball.
In the 50/60’s singles, Barry Rubin (CA) dominated the division, keeping all his opponents in single digits. “I felt a little bit like Miss Casey (WR48 #1),” declared Rubin in his route to the gold.
In the 65 singles, Gary Eisenbooth (CA) did not drop a game, winning all his matches with controlled pass and ceiling shots. Eisenbooth packs a powerful game for his size, and seems to retrieve everything thrown at him without running out of steam.
Bill Trimble (IL) was pushed to two grueling tiebreakers to capture the 70/75 singles gold in a very competitive division, scraping past Michigan’s left hand side wall front wall killer Charles Doyle in an 11-10 thriller. Trimble hopes to come back next year to defend his title.
In the 50/60 doubles, Bill Warren/Brian Valade (AZ) cruised past newcomers Steven Guy/Butch Hoffman (AZ, MT) in the upper bracket semifinals, while Gary Eisenbooth/Ken Ramsay (CA, AZ) overcame the Barry Rubin/Joel Crowley (CA, CO) challenge to win in two games to advance to the gold medal match in the bottom bracket. Warren/Valade overcame Rubin/Crowley in a tiebreaker in the final, reclaiming their doubles gold medals. Warren remarked, “We switched sides in the middle of the games to offset hand errors and I think made the difference”. Bill is becoming a real doubles aficionado.
Hall of Famer and living legend Fred Lewis teamed with WPH ambassador Doug Clark to compete in the 70/75 doubles event, but could not overcome the Colorado connection team of Don Stewart/Dewey Mrsola. The final was yet another competitive match going to tiebreaker, with Stewart/Mrsola coming away with the gold medals.
A special side note – 79-year old James Lauffenburger (NY) played in two SR Olympic events on Saturday, racquetball in the morning and then handball in the afternoon both singles division– true Olympian.
Thanks to everyone who participated this year and those who made the trip from out of town. Also, thanks to our volunteers – – John Glenn, Matthew, Sam Jr and grandsons Paxton and Caden, and ASO sports admin Nancy Jackson. Lets make next year better.
Shirts are still available on the SR Olympics website here. Click on the yellow oval circle.
To see more photos from the event, go here
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