Montana Senior Olympics kick off in Missoula

MISSOULA, Mont. - The Olympics are not over for everyone! 

The Montana Senior Olympics take place this weekend and there's a lot at stake. 

The National Senior Games are on the line. Athletes will be able to qualify for the games that will take place in Florida next May. 

The Senior Olympics inspire people to stay active and keep exercising as they get older by motivating them with some healthy competition. 

Nearly 500 athletes will compete in 15 different events like archery, badminton, horseshoes and bowling. 

To qualify for nationals, athletes have to either be a top finisher or meet a performance standard. 

Richard Paschke's competed at the national level for archery in the past. 

He has his eye on the prize again this year. 

"State Olympics are a little more relaxed and laid back," Paschke said. "Once you get to the national level, there are like 30 targets in a row. You're shooting against a lot of different competitors. Most of them are the top of their class... so it's going to be difficult to pick one of the first three spots." 

He said his favorite part about competing is the camaraderie, which is even more special for a demographic that is extra isolated due to the pandemic.

Athletes come from all over the country to compete here in Montana.

You have to be 50 years old to participate, but there's no age limit. The oldest competitor this year is a whopping 99 years old.

The games start Thursday, September 9 and run through Saturday, September 11 at various places around Missoula. For more details, click here. 

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