Senior Olympics Gold Medalist Calls Kendal Home

This story appeared in a recent issue of  our newsletter, The Reed. Bob’s story illustrates the benefit of staying fit at any age.

Bob and Lee H. recently moved to Kendal at Oberlin from Ann Arbor. While they are still getting settled in their cottage, he graciously took the time to talk about his involvement in the National Senior Games (Senior Olympics) and the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Bob’s interest in various sports began as a student at University School in Oxford, Ohio, and then in track at Miami University of Ohio. As a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty volleyball league, but eventually found himself looking for more of a challenge and found that through U.S.A. Volleyball. Bob played with senior teams at the US Volleyball Championships beginning in 1971; the National Senior Games in 1987; and the Huntsman World Senior Games in 1989, and has been an active participant ever since.

2009 Gold Medalist Bob Hefner

Bob at the 2009 Senior Olympics in Palo Alto, CA

While two knee replacements years ago and a shoulder replacement this past year have presented challenges, Bob’s most recent participation was in the Men’s 80+ Volleyball at the Huntsman Games in Utah in October, where he won another Gold Medal. Prior to that in the 2011 biennial Summer National Senior Games in Houston, Texas, he took a Gold Medal in volleyball. Both Huntsman and the National Senior Games are large multi-sport events with over 10,000 men and women age 50+ participating.

Both organizations focus on the advantages of a healthy, active lifestyle, and like Kendal, share similar philosophies in their approach to aging. Kendal offers a state-of-the-art fitness center, a lap and therapy pool, tennis courts, walking and biking paths, and professional staff to support the health and wellness of each resident.

Prospective senior athletes (50+) can begin their journey to the 2013 Summer National Senior Games, to be held in Cleveland, Ohio, by qualifying at any State Senior Games in 2012. The Ohio Senior Olympics website will soon be posting information. To become involved, opportunities are available through NSGA Member Organizations. Visit for further information.

2009 Senior Olympics Gold Medal Mens Volleyball Team - age 75+

Bob and his teammates on the 2009 Gold Medal Mens Volleyball Team, age 75+

Since participants in the National Senior Games must first qualify at the state level, Bob is routinely walking and weightlifting to build strength and endurance in preparation for the next competition. He is delighted that the National Senior Games are scheduled to be held in Cleveland in 2013, a short distance from the Hefners’ new home at Kendal. Bob says spectators are always welcome!

Photos courtesy of Bob Hefner

Story by Nancy Freed, Kendal at Oberlin