Seniors Compete at the CT Winter Games at Sundown

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At Ski Sundown in New Hartford Tuesday, it wasn't just a day on the slopes.

With huge snowflakes falling from the sky, more than 80 seniors turned out to compete in the CT Winter Games.

To compete you had to qualify, that is, be at least 50 years old.

"I will be 73 in April," said Joan Youngs of Tolland, after her first run on the Giant Slalom course. "It's my most favorite thing to do. Ski."

Skiers rode the chairlift for the first two events: Downhill and Giant Slalom.

Twifties, a website of fun events for people over 50, and the CT Ski Council sponsored the competition.

"It's a chance to kind of release our inner Bode Miller and enjoy the snow," said CT Ski Council President Bob Kaczmarczyk.

Most agreed that the Winter Olympics in Vancouver has definitely ramped up the competition at the CT Winter Games.

"The Olympics has put a whole different look on it and, of course, this snow storm adds to the image," said participant Eileen Brunt of New Hartford.

The downhillers weren't the only ones having fun. Doug Bonoff of East Hampton was gearing up for the Cross Country Skiing, but he wasn't expecting to win.

"There are guys in their 70's that are athletes and will ski circles around me," Bonoff said.

Snowshoeing wrapped up the competition. While the skiing events are all about speed, snowshoers say their sport is about endurance.

"These people are ageless," said Kaczmarczyk. "They love being out here. They love to be out and be active."

And they love to win. At the end of the day, the top three finishers stood at makeshift podiums to receive their respective medals, signifying their accomplishment.

"I have so much admiration for those people who are 82 and 86 years old and skiing, and they're better than me," said Lauren Teton, participant and founder of

It's snow joke: The Vancouver Winter Games are here! Get more Olympics news from NBC Connecticut, fan us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also get the TV listings here.

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