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Seniors compete in Olympics at Lanier Village Estates
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Jinny Doane reacts to a water balloon tossed her way Friday afternoon during competition at the Lanier Village Estates’ senior Olympic games.

Sometimes it just feels good to win.

Jinny Doane raised her hands in celebration as she won the egg and spoon relay during the last competition of the Lanier Village Estates Olympics.

“Kim, Melissa and Stephanie work really hard to get us out of our apartments,” Doane said, admitting it “feels great” to win and receive a certificate.

For the three-day Olympic extravaganza, Lanier Estates fitness instructors Kim Lauer and Melissa Simpson, along with resident services director Stephanie Benz, set up walking, running, putting, poker, table tennis, billiards and water balloon toss events.

“We set this up so the residents have a great time,” Simpson said. “They get to participate in physical activity in and out of the sun and enjoy themselves completely in their own environment.”

Friday afternoon, the water balloon toss competition was fierce. Cheers grew louder whenever a balloon popped, and taunts filled the field.

“Step back more!” called out Tory Elliott. “You’re not far enough back!”

“You’re a lucky duck!” shouted Kay Stringer as a balloon bounced on the grass and didn’t pop.

But the best part of the competition? The ice cream social.

“I’m really happy to see that the ice cream social is the most popular event,” Benz said with a laugh as the residents lined up.

“I just think it’s fun to be a part of it all, and I love the people here,” said Brittany Huckaby, a junior at North Georgia College and State University, as she scooped out a serving of strawberry. “It’s like a family here.”

Lauer handed out gifts and certificates to the winners during the awards ceremony, including a mini bowling set for the Wii bowling winner, a cigar for the poker champ and stylish earrings for the pingpong master.

“It’s all about health and physical fitness, and we’re all very competitive,” Benz said. “We found that out today with the balloon toss and spoon relay. And of course competing with the ice cream to beat everyone else to the front of the line.”

And what’s most important for “reigning champ” Tory Elliott, who won the balloon toss for a second year?

“Persistence,” he said with a smile. “You just keep going.”

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