Yukoner Madeline Boyd, 90, competes for the love of sport at Canada 55+ Games

At 90, Madeline Boyd is a bowling queen and sports fanatic — she attended the first-ever Canada 55+ Games 2022 in Medicine Hat, Alta. and takes on a team from the Yukon this week in Kamloops, BC

When asked how she keeps her interest in sports, Boyd is open.

“I like sports and have always enjoyed playing – I played bocce [ball] At the games I played curling. We got a gold medal in curling,” she said.

She is also a lawn bowler and gold medalist.

Boyd said exercise has always been a part of her life.

“The only sport I’ve never played is golf,” she said.

The Canada 55+ Games will bring together 2,500 participants to participate in events focused on social, physical and psychological well-being.

Boyd is on Team Yukon for the Canada 55+ Games and their ranks have only grown since the very first Games in Medicine Hat, Alta. (Submitted by Adrienne Marsh)

The Games are held every two years and participants must qualify at the provincial and territorial levels.

Events include five pin bowling, a 5 and 10 kilometer run, 8 ball billiards, badminton, carpet bowling, contract bridge, cribbage, cycling, darts, dragon boating and more.

“The people, they are all seniors. They’ve all been there and done that. So it’s good,” she said.

Carpet bowling is a bit like curling. The balls are weighted and you aim for the “jack” which is a cue ball. The goal is to get the ball as close to the target as possible.

If you compete, you might even win some hardware, Boyd said.

“Oh yeah, we’re bringing home some medals,” she said.

“Yukon will do well here, we always have.”

Hot weather, good times

Kamloops recently hit a high of 35C, but that hasn’t stopped Boyd and her team.

They stay cool in the air-conditioned facilities where thousands of seniors enjoy the games.

“So far it’s fine. We don’t break ourselves or anything, but we enjoy it.”

Carpet bowling is just an extension of her active lifestyle.

She rides all summer and lures all winter.

Boy says staying active well into her ninth decade runs in the family — her own father lived well into his 90s.

“My dad once told me he was 99 and I went back to school and told the teachers [he was] 99 and everyone was laughing and I didn’t know why because the age was a different number.”

She took up the sport at an early age, playing with a premier softball team at the Old Ballpark in Whitehorse.

“The only thing that was when we won a game, everybody went to the Elks,” she said.

“I was too young to go to the bar. That’s the only problem,” Boyd laughs.

When she competed in the very first Canada 55+ Games, held in Medicine Hat, there were 40 people on Yukon’s team, and now there are more than 200.

Boyd advises other seniors to stay active when you can.

“Why not? You know, I mean I can. So why not try these sports? You’re always with good people and it’s good company [activity].”

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