ST. CLOUD -- Over 600 age-defying athletes are competing this weekend in St. Cloud for the annual Minnesota Senior Games.

The games, which kicked off today (Thursday), are presented by CentraCare Health and feature over 20 events for athletes 50 years and older.

"It's a lot of fun," says Bob Jensen, from Sioux City, Iowa. "[When] you get to be 75 and you can remain vertical for half a day, you're a winner."

Jensen, a St. Paul native and Vietnam veteran, says he's been active all his life including playing football in high school and college and before coaching.

"You have to keep moving and it's nice to be around people in your own age group -- it beats the heck out of sitting and home and watching TV."

It's the first year Jensen is competing in the games and the fifth year for Rose Weyl or Le Sueur.

"It's amazing, I love it," says Weyl, who competed in table tennis. "You can be a beginner and you can be a pro -- and what's nice is that the pros will treat you with respect that you're a beginner."

"It makes you feel good that you can still [play], it just makes me want to play in more sports -- maybe play some volleyball, maybe play some pickle ball."

The games run through Sunday at locations around the St. Cloud area. This year's events are qualifiers for the national games in Birmingham, Alabama next year.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON
Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON