Residents 'bring home'
many Olympic medals
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 4:50 AM
Olympians come in all shapes and sizes depending on the event in which they are participating in. Locally, a whole group of unexpected Olympians participated in Olympic games.
These two residents — Eleanor Haar and Harley Rostvold — each won seven medals during their Olympic games at Tweeten Lutheran Healthcare Center. They were very excited about all of their wins!
The residents at Tweeten Lutheran Healthcare Center (TLHC) in Spring Grove held their own versions of the Olympic games and had a great time doing it.
The Oympics at TLHC began with an opening ceremony when they talked about London and the actual Olympics. The residents finished out their opening ceremony with a snack of fish and chips. The fish was fresh fish that activities worker Judy Holten had caught herself.
"We filleted and breaded them, and they just loved them," commented Holten with a smile.
The residents participated in their games during their morning and afternoon activity times. They competed for two weeks just like the Olympics, and they also watched many of the Olympic events on the TV.
"I think one of their favorite events to watch was the volleyball, both indoor and beach," said activities director Gloria Oakes-Speltz.
"In 2008, when the Olympics were in Beijing, we also held our own Olympics here, and the residents enjoyed it so much that we decided to do it again this year," explained Oakes-Speltz.
"They all really get into the events and are actually very competitive! It is fun to see them excited and enjoying the events so much."
The Olympic events that the residents participated in included: discus throw, beanbag toss, basketball, rings, archery, 100m sprint, balance beam, weight lifting, bowling, javelin, high jump, wheelchair races and bingo.
Medals hanging on ribbons were given out just like they were in London.
How the games were played
For the discus throw, the residents used large washers and threw them toward a board that had three holes with different point values. Harley Rostvold won gold, Eleanor Haar won silver and Wayne Bunge won bronze.
The rings competition found Rostvold with another gold, Don Twite with a silver and Esther Diersen with a bronze.
The beanbag toss was like the lawn version with one hole in which to score points in. Rostvold won gold, Haar won silver and Betsy Sand won bronze.
The basketball competition was a free-throw toss. Rostvold and Virginia Arnold tied for gold, Haar won silver and Bernice Bjergum won bronze.
Using a magnetic dartboard, the residents competed in archery. Twite took the gold, Eleanore Flattum took silver and Diersen took bronze.
The bowling event saw Irvin Storlie taking gold, Orval Treangen taking silver and Rollie Johnson taking bronze.
The balance beam was one of the longer events. The residents each had a 12" ruler that they to balance on their index finger. Diersen won the gold with balancing the ruler for nearly 15 minutes! Orvel Treangen took silver and Rostvold took bronze.
Winning the bingo blackout card was Irvin Storlie. Other residents won prizes as well that were bigger than their normal bingo prizes and included such things as jewelry, Spring Grove Soda and large bags of candy.
Many smiles were seen on residents faces as they had wheelchair races. A 20' long track was measured out and each participating resident had the opportunity to see how fast they could complete the track.
Storlie completed the 20' track in 7 seconds taking the gold, Haar took silver and Johnson, Marjorie Hoff, and Mildred Meyer all tied for the bronze.
Residents showed their speed during the 100-meter sprint. For this competition, they were each given 100" of string and had to roll it into a ball as quickly as possible.
Mildred Meyer took gold with a time of 1 minute 10 seconds, Diersen took silver with 1:26 and Bjergum took bronze with 1:43.
The high-jump competition had the residents throwing beanbags over a bar. The bar was raised until they missed. The height of the last completed bar toss was their winning height.
Haar won gold with a height of 6 feet 3 inches, Twite won silver with a height of 6-2, and Sand won bronze with a height of 5-10.
The residents' version of the javelin throw was a bit safer than the large arrow-tipped javelins used in the actual Olympics. Each resident was given a straw that was covered in paper. An end portion of the paper was torn off, then the resident blew into the straw to make the paper fly across the room.
Bjergum won gold with a length of 8-10, Rostvold took silver with a length of 6-9, and Haar took silver with a length of 6-0.
For the weightlifting event, the residents competed in two divisions - men and women. A basket with a handle was filled with 12 cans of peas, the residents had to lift the basket with one hand. The number of reps they completed was their score.
In the women's division Diersen won gold with 20 reps, Haar won silver, and 101-year old Louise Newhouse won bronze.
Newhouse commented with a smile that she was "a good farm gal so she knew how to do things" like this!
In the men's division, Rostvold won gold with 31 reps, Johnson won silver and Treangen won bronze.
"The residents were really competing; it was so fun to watch," commented Holten. "They really worked their little hearts out for each event!"
The residents received their medals during the closing ceremonies.
"They were so appreciative of all of our efforts that they gave us a round of applause," remarked Oakes-Speltz.
"We had so much fun planning and doing these events with the residents; it was great to see their enthusiasm and participation."
"They were so proud when they came forward to receive their medals," added Holten. "It was so neat to see the excitement on their faces!"