Living an Active and Fulfilling Life: Goodwin House Residents Flex their Competitive Spirit in Senior Olympics

By Lindsay Hutter, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Goodwin House Incorporated

GHBC residents take a break between the events at the opening games of the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, Saturday, Sept. 15..

Four-time Olympic champion swimmer Dara Torres said, “Never put an age limit on your dream.” Torres must have known the residents of Goodwin House Alexandria (GHA) and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads (GHBC).

Over 40 residents from the two Life Plan Communities that are part of the Goodwin House Incorporated (GHI) family of senior living and care services have taken this message to heart and fulfilled their own dreams of becoming Olympians – Senior Olympians! GHA and GHBC residents participated in the opening games of the 36th Annual Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO), on September 15 in Arlington, Va. Opening day games launched the competition, which continues through September 26.

The NVSO games promote health, fitness and psychological well-being for older adults by providing opportunities for participation, competition, self-improvement and fellowship through a wide variety of athletic and recreational events.  These range from swimming and running to bridge and dominoes. GHI has been a proud sponsor and Gold Patron of the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics for several years.

Nearly twice as many GHA and GHBC residents are competing this year (as compared to 2017), which is clear evidence that they have caught the Senior Olympic spirit! It also shows how active their lives are with Goodwin House. Residents will compete in over 30 events, including cycling, swimming, walking, Scrabble, Croquet and Wii Bowling. Whatever their event or skill level, residents enjoy the sense of purpose, fellowship and competitive spirit that comes with being a Senior Olympian.

“At Goodwin House, we celebrate and support our Senior Olympians in their endeavors to try new things and lead an active and fulfilling life,” said GHBC Fitness Manager Sara Fimiani. “Many of our residents have been actively training for this year’s Senior Olympics.”

“Our residents inspire us with their many talents, skills and determination. The NVSO provides a unique opportunity for older adults to engage and live the healthiest life possible,” said GHA Fitness Manager Leslie LaPlace.

Several residents competed in multiple events at Saturday’s opening competition.  Here’s a summary of GHI’s opening day Olympians and their competitions:

  • Marietta Tanner won the Gold medal in her age group for the 3 mile walk
  • Mandy Whalen competed in four events – earning the Gold medal in her age group for the 3 mile walk, the 1600 meter walk, the 400 meter walk and the 800 meter run
  • John Smucker earned the Gold medal in his age group for the 60 meter dash
  • John Ewing won the Gold medal in Orienteering
  • Ward Morris earned a Silver medal in the 400 meter walk and a Bronze in the 1,600 meter walk 
  • Barbara Morris won a Silver medal in the 400 meter walk and a Bronze in the 800 meter walk
  • Jean Reed participated in three events – winning the Bronze in the 800 meter walk, the Silver in the 400 meter walk, and the Gold in the 1600 meter walk

Two Goodwin House employees also competed in the opening day events:  Leslie LaPlace and Sara Fimiani who both won Bronze medals in their age groups for the 60 meter dash.

The Senior Olympic competition will continue through September 26.  To learn more about the NVSO, click here and view the event schedule here.

Please join us in celebrating all Senior Olympians who  inspire and show us how to live active and fulfilling lives!

Read more on the Goodwin House blog about staying healthy:

Summer’s Bounty: An Interview with Goodwin House Dietitian Alison Liggett, RD, CSG

A Healthy Balance: Goodwin House Fitness Manager Sherry Compton on Preventing Falls


As Goodwin House’s Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Lindsay Hutter leads the strategic efforts to fulfill the mission and expand the ways and places in which Goodwin House Incorporated serves older adults. A resident of Fairfax County, her career spans leadership positions in change management, market innovation, and marketing and communications.  Lindsay holds a B.S. degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University.