Handing Down Medals and Memories


For some masters athletes, the allure of first place or a world record is a main motivator to enter the National Senior Games. It’s an opportunity to better oneself, fuel competitive fires and learn what one can achieve. Taking home gold is an award representative of the time and effort it takes to stay in top form as we age.

While the medals are certainly motivational, they aren’t always the focus of athletes over the age of 50. Countless athletes have professed that it’s the social and health benefits that keep them returning the National Senior Games. When camaraderie and longevity take center stage, the physical reward of a medal just becomes the icing on the cake for some athletes.

George Freeman is one of only two people to have competed in every single National Senior Games event since they began in 1987. “The people are the reason I keep coming back,” Freeman said this past summer in Pittsburgh.

George Freeman in 1989 (left) and 2022 (right), one of only two athletes to compete in every National Senior Games since they began in 1987

The 91-year-old has amassed dozens of medals over more than three decades of competition in bowling, track & field, golf and shuffleboard; but most of them have been given away with a message in mind. A few years earlier, Freeman revealed to the NSGA that he had been working with his daughter, who was an elementary school teacher, to hand the medals down to worthy students.

“What she does is give a student a medal for good character. She makes them write a ‘thank you’ letter to me before they can receive it. It’s a great way to give out the medals, I just think it’s great,” Freeman said.   

These medals are a way for Freeman to pass on an inspiring message and share his memories of competing throughout his entire life with the next generation. It’s an example that the entire world can learn from.

We all have cherished belongings in our house that begin to take up space. Jewelry, clothing, musical instruments, trophies, antiques and more can clutter our lives, but offer an opportunity to share memories with our younger loved ones.

Caring Transitions is the nation’s leading total solutions provider in the space of life transitions, including downsizing and estate sales. They believe that when we hand down treasured belongings, we are building a bridge that connects us to the next generation.

In addition to in-person estate sales, Caring Transitions manages an online auction platform, CTBIDS, to share prized possessions with the world and connect users to those looking to honor their belongings.

“It has really started to intertwine the generations again,” says Carrie Coumbs, Senior Strategic Advisor for Caring Transitions. “CTBIDS is a way that you can honor generations now, past and in the future, because these memorable items that are shared on the auction platform, they just bring new memories to life. 

“Do you know who benefits? The senior. They were able to pass along these memories and items to people who would love them and cherish them, and the funds that are raised go towards the care they need in a very important time of life.” 

Whether it is a specific item you’re after or just to browse for the perfect gift for a loved one, CTBIDS is full of thousands of prized possessions that can have a lasting impact on families across the country. 

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Madonna Hanna: Honoring the Past, Sprinting Into the Future

Masters Sports

Madonna Hanna has achieved all her life, as an award-winning teacher, author, and fashion industry executive. In 2011 she added sprinter to her list when, at 57, her late husband began coaching her and she entered the Washington Senior Games. After his death, Madonna kept her promise to him to keep running. She found a new coach in nationally-ranked track athlete Marcus Chambers, and their work together helped Madonna achieve gold at the 2023 National Senior Games.

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