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Academy Alumnus Marc Riker is CEO of the National Senior Games Association

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Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, left, and National Senior Games CEO Marc T. Riker announce that a record number 13,712 athletes from all 50 states will be participating in the 2019 National Senior Games, which will held in Albuquerque in June. Photo: City of Albuquerque

By Fred Cromartie, Ed.D. |

The United States Sports Academy continues to strive to meet its mission of making contributions to the field of sport by preparing men and women for the profession of sport. The spotlight today shines on the Academy and its alumnus Marc T. Riker. 

Riker graduated in 1997 earning his degree in sport management, during his time at the Academy one very significant accomplishment was doing his mentorship with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.

The National Senior Games for 2019 under the guidance of NSGA CEO Marc Riker was held in Albuquerque, N.M., to a record number of register athletes with 13,712 participating in a number of different sports.

According to Riker, “It’s all about the fitness, the fun and the fellowship between the athletes and everyone else involved.”

The NSGA is the largest multisport event in the world for men and women over the age of 50. This is a perfect opportunity for the writer to continue my own participation in organized sport and the National Senior Games Association is being given serious consideration.  

This year’s edition of the games was estimated to bring in $17 million in direct spending, and $34 million in economic impact, said Tania Armenta, the president and CEO of Visit Albuquerque. This is a true demonstration of the economic impact that the National Senior Games and athletes bring to the table for host cities

Competitors traveled from all 50 states to compete in the games, which were held June 14 to 25. New Mexico had the largest delegation, with 1,516 people competing, Riker said.

One of the most memorable events for the games was 103-year-old Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins racing to victory in the 100 meters (46.07) against what was best described as a field of competitors for the ages. With the win Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins proudly accepted the 2019 National Senior Games gold medal.

Dr. Fred Cromartie is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy.

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