Elk Run Assisted Living residents don’t want to miss out on the Winter Olympics.
On Feb. 4, several residents participated in a torch relay signifying the start of the games — both internationally and at the Elk Run. With the Olympics theme song playing in the background, they passed around a plastic torch as they sat in the lobby and lit their version of the Olympic cauldron. The cauldron, which is actually a vase, now sits in front of a display highlighting the winter games in Beijing.
Activities Director Ellen Hussey said the torch relay is a small part of the Olympics plans at the facility. Elk Run will have its version of games that residents can participate in such as a ring toss, a bowling game and more, and they will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for their efforts.
It’s all in good fun, and the Olympics gives Elk Run residents a chance to reminisce about Olympics past.
Bettie Lynn Walden, who lit the make-believe cauldron with the plastic torch, said she always wanted to carry the real torch at the Olympics and never thought she’d have a chance in her later years.
Her favorite events are the luge and the bobsled because she likes how fast the athletes move along the course, though she used to enjoy watching skiing and ice-skating events.
Resident Donna Bell, who enjoys speed-skating, had been a professional clown, and she was hired to be a clown at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, so she has special memories of those games.
Jutta Schumal has watched the Olympics many times, especially enjoying the ice-skating events, while Steve Kurland, who used to play ice hockey, enjoys watching the Olympic hockey games.
Hussey noted that the Winter Olympics are one of many events for residents in February, as they recently celebrated the lunar new year and Groundhog Day, and will celebrate Valentine’s Day and watch the Super Bowl.