Scottie Scott has long been respected in Houston’s lesbian community as a walking, talking example of how physical activity increases longevity.
An active member of LOAF (Lesbians Over Age 50), SPRY (Seniors Preparing for Rainbow Years), and LHI (see page 46), Scott, 76, says she works out three to four times a week doing water aerobics, weight training, and pickleball (a derivative of tennis). “And I usually walk the dog twice a day,” she says, laughing. “She has short legs so we don’t go real far.”
Scott is serious about maintaining top competitive form. She is among the 10,000 athletes age 50 years and older set to participate in the 15-day Summer National Senior Games, beginning June 21. For the first time in the games’ history, Houston is the host city, with the George R. Brown Convention Center serving as the center of activities with seven of the 18 medal events taking place there.
“We look forward to welcoming America’s senior athletes with open arms,” says Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker. “This is the largest multi-sport event in the world for athletes over the age of 50, and I am supremely confident that the athletes of the 2011 Summer National Senior Games will enjoy a well-run competition with a heaping helping of Houston hospitality on the side.”
Scott is no stranger to the meets; she started competing in the Senior Games when she was 55 and has competed nearly every year in local and state competitions since that time, missing only two national meets in California and Pennsylvania. Her top game of choice is badminton, one of the featured sports taking place at the GRB; Scott’s matches begin June 27.
Scott has also competed in the 2006 Gay Games held in Chicago, where she won two bronze medals for badminton singles and women’s doubles. “My good-looking Australia guy [teammate] and I missed the third bronze by one point!” she laments.
A true champion, Scott has won more than 300 medals (“They’re under the bed!” she laughs) in local and state matches, including one gold, two silver, and one bronze medal in badminton singles in national competition. All this sportswoman-like conduct landed Scott an induction into the Texas Senior Games Hall of Fame in 2007.
Scott is already planning her next round of local qualifying matches following June’s National Senior Games, and rattles off an impressive list of potential sports she intends to compete in: “Badminton, shot put, discus, javelin, table tennis, archery, softball distance and accuracy, basketball ‘around the world’ and free throw, football distance and accuracy, and maybe pickleball. Maybe cycling again.
“I will probably compete in as many sports as the money will allow,” she laughs. “I need a benefactor to get me to the next Gay Games!”
The Senior Games kicks off on June 16 at Discovery Green with the Flame Arrival Ceremony, following a nine-day torch relay around Texas. “I will be jogging or walking the National Senior Games torch around the City Hall on June16. Come and watch!” Scott says. On June 21, flags of all the states and NSGA athletes, including Scott, participate in the Celebration of Athletes in Toyota Center, with the games concluding June 30. More info: nsga.com. —Nancy Ford