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Meet Two-Time Shuffleboard Gold Medalist Beth Wheeler

Because Market icon, and picture of Beth Wheeler.

Vivian Bastos |

Because Market is proud to be sponsoring six incredible women at this year's National Senior Athletic Games organized by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). These extraordinary women are changing the narrative on what's possible for athletes over 60. Pushing back against stereotypes of the limits aging bodies face, these women take back their autonomy, health, and happiness as they Live Life Fully.

 

We sat down with Beth Wheeler, two-time gold medalist and veteran organizer of the Maryland Senior Athletic Games, to talk about staying active, tips on trying new sports, and the NSGA community.

 

When did you start playing shuffleboard, and what drew you to it?

 

 

You’ve won a lot of medals for your sport! Which is your favorite?

 

Well, I'm going to brag for a moment. I've won medals every year at the Maryland Senior Olympics. I've won two gold medals, two silver medals in singles, and one bronze in doubles. But I think my favorite is the first gold medal that I won in Houston in 2011. I actually beat a lady from another state who plays every day and has note cards on how to make the shots. I beat her by two points, and she was mortified.

 

But really, they're all favorites. And if I don't win one, I don't win one. But it sure is nice to hear it clanging around your neck as you're walking through the convention center.

 

A group of medals against a yellow shirt.

Beth Wheeler proudly wears her medals from past competitions.

 

What do you do during the week to stay active?

I take a water exercise class once a week. I've been doing that for probably 10 years now. Before that, I played softball two to three nights a week. Unfortunately, my knees don't let me do that anymore. At the beginning of the year, one of our local senior centers decided to offer a session on shuffleboard, so we were able to use the equipment that the Maryland Senior Olympics has and set up courts indoors. We have that twice a week for about an hour, and I try to go at least once a week.

 

Over 50% of women experience bladder leaks, yet it’s a stigmatized topic that people tend to shy away from. What advice would you have for them?

 

 

 

What sense of community have you gotten from playing sports and being part of the NSGA?

Being part of the NSGA is sort of hard because you only compete every two years, so you only see those people every two years. But they're still friends. We're still welcoming of each other. And I think playing sports, whether it's individual or on a team—you're still part of a team because you're playing a sport. And I've made lifetime friends. I can't go anywhere without running into somebody that I've played against. When you go to the Nation Senior Games, it's an opportunity to meet other people and just have a good time.

 

Beth Wheeler in action during a shuffleboard match up.

Beth Wheeler in action during a shuffleboard match up.

 

Do you have any advice for your peers who are looking to get active?

 

 

 

Do you have a goal that drives you to keep playing?

Just to stay active and engaged for as long as possible and as much as possible. The bottom line is to have fun while doing it and meet new people. In a YouTube video that we had done about us for the Maryland Senior Olympics, my friend asked me at the very end with a big grin on her face, “Can I buy you a beer afterward?” The answer is yes!

 

Beth Wheeler smiles with her medals.

Beth Wheeler is all smiles after a successful competition.

 

What are your tips for starting a new sport?

 

 

Stay tuned for more exclusive content from the 2023 National Senior Games, advice on how to get active, and interviews from our inspiring athletes.

 

Click here to check out our last interview, with basketball and track athlete Angela Swift!