Yukoner Madeline Boyd, 90, competes for love of sport at Canada 55+ Games

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At 90, Madeline Boyd is a queen of carpet bowling and a sports fanatic. She competed in the first-ever 2022 55+ Canada Games in Medicine Hat, Alta., and she faces a Yukon team this week in Kamloops, British Columbia.

When asked how she keeps up her taste in the sport, Boyd is candid.

“I like sport and I have always liked to play – I played pétanque [ball] in games, I played curling. We got a gold medal in curling,” she said.

She’s also a grass rounder, and a gold medalist to boot.

Boyd said sports have always been a part of his life.

“The only sport I’ve ever played is golf,” she said.

The Canada 55+ Games will bring together 2,500 participants to participate in events focused on social, physical and psychological well-being.

Boyd is on Team Yukon for the 55+ Canada Games and their ranks have only grown since the very first games in Medicine Hat, Alta. (Submitted by Adrienne Marsh)

The games are held every two years and participants must qualify at the provincial and territorial levels.

Events include five-pin bowling, five and 10 kilometer race, 8-ball pool, badminton, carpet bowling, contract bridge, cribbage, biking, darts, dragon boat and more Again.

“People, they’re all old people. They’ve all been there, done that. So that’s good,” she said.

Mat bowling is a bit like curling. The balls are weighted and you aim for the “jack” which is a white ball. The goal is to get your ball as close to the jack as possible.

If you compete, you might even win some gear, Boyd said.

“Oh yes, we will bring home medals,” she said.

“Yukon will do well here, we always have.”

Hot weather, good times

Kamloops recently hit a high of 35°C, but that didn’t stop Boyd and his team.

They cool off in the air-conditioned facilities where thousands of seniors enjoy the games.

“So far so good. We’re not breaking our heads or anything, but we’re enjoying it.”

Mat bowling is just an extension of his active lifestyle.

She goes horseback riding all summer and curling all winter.

Boy says she remained active in her ninth decade in the family – her own father lived well into his 90s.

“My dad once told me he was 99 and I went back to school and told the teachers that [he was] 99, and everyone laughed and I didn’t know why, because age was another number.”

She started the sport young, playing with a top softball team at the old Whitehorse baseball stadium.

“The only thing is when we won a game they all went to the Elks,” she said.

“I was too young to go to the bar. That’s the only problem,” laughs Boyd.

When she participated in the very first Canada 55+ Games held in Medicine Hat, there were 40 people on Team Yukon, and now there are over 200.

Boyd’s advice to other seniors is to stay active if you can.

“Why not? You know, I mean, I’m capable. So why not try these sports? You’re always with good people and it’s a good social [activity].”

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