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Red Oak Villa puts own spin on Olympics

By: Jonathan Migneault - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Feb 10, 2014 - 2:47 PM |
Red Oak Villa residents took part in an enthusiastic rendition of “O Canada” during the retirement home's Olympic opening ceremony. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Red Oak Villa residents took part in an enthusiastic rendition of “O Canada” during the retirement home's Olympic opening ceremony. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Residents compete in Wii curling and other games

It may not have had an impressive fireworks show, or a tab for more than $50 billion, but the opening ceremony for the Red Oak Villa Olympics went without a hitch Friday morning.

The Sudbury retirement home started its second Olympics, to synch up with the Sochi Olympics in Russia.

NDP MPP for Nickel Belt, France Gélinas, was the guest of honour for the opening ceremony, which featured an Olympic torch – with coloured tissue paper instead of actual flames – and an enthusiastic rendition of O Canada.

“As people age it's a whole lot easier for them to stay healthy if they stay connected, if they continue to have a social life and stay active,” Gélinas said about the event.

Instead of snowboarding, figure skating and hockey, the Red Oak Villa Olympics will feature Wii bowling, word games, and a very popular bean bag toss competition.

The opening event Friday morning was a heated game of Wii curling.

Residents took turns tossing their digital stones with their Wiimotes in hand.

Debbie Gaudet, Red Oak Villa's activities co-ordinator, said she came up with the idea to host an in-house Olympic competition during the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010.

They skipped the 2012 Summer Olympics, Gaudet said, because the summer tends to be a busier time at the retirement home. But things slow down in the winter, and the Olympics were a good way to get residents to socialize and be a little more active.

Gord Slade, who has lived at Red Oak Villa for more than seven years, said he is a big fan of the Olympic events.

“I think we've got the best organizer in the city and our activities are better than those at any other seniors place,” Slade said.

The Red Oak Villa Olympics will run until Friday, Feb. 21, with a closing ceremony and awards presentation.

@jmigneault
Jonathan Migneault

Jonathan Migneault

Staff Writer

@jmigneault

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