The Department of Elderly Affairs was established in 1977, under the direction of the Rhode Island Legislature and Governor J. Joseph Garrahy. Almost immediately, Director Anna Tucker and her staff focused on reaching the senior population and creating a breadth of activities that "would get them up, out and moving." The Senior Olympics were the suggestion of Dolores Casey Bergeron, who served as the Olympic Games Coordinator until her retirement. Dolores remains on the Board of Directors.
The Ocean State Senior Olympics is not only a fitness program but also an athletic adventure that initiates a healthy lifestyle for men and women, fifty and older, through peer competition and a recognition of achievement. The sporting activities enhance both the physical and mental well-being, as well as foster friendship and an increased sense of belonging.
Anyone who will be 50 years or older as of December 31, 2016 is eligible. Men and women over the age of 50 compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. The competition is held in peer age groups in five year increments (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, etc.) In addition, masters athletes 40 years of age or older are welcome to compete in our cycling, swimming and track & field competitions. Out of state residents are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Ocean State Senior Olympics.