At Melbourne’s Olympic Games in 1956, John Abrams represented New Zealand in hockey.
Now, the 86-year-old is switching codes. Using augmented reality, Abrams will cycle 10km against other rest home residents across New Zealand and Australia.
“This will be my third Olympics,” Abrams says. He’s not in it for gold this time around though. “I’m past worrying about medals.”
So far more than 500 have signed up to compete in our own local games which make use of modern technology.
The relay walking race will use electronic trackers, while lawn bowls will be streamed over video conference.
Training is underway, with 85-year-old Alister Leckie completing three lengths today in the pool.
He’s eager to change people’s perceptions of rest home residents.
“The usual thought about old people in retirement villages is that we do sit around and dribble in our cardigans,” he says.
Ryman Healthcare CEO Gordon MacLeod says the competition offers residents a way to keep healthy this winter.
“I think it's really important for older people to take this opportunity, during the winter time especially, to have fun, look after their wellness and have a bit of competition,” he says.