When longtime Houston golfer Andy Grobins was called to the medal podium at the 55+ BC Games, he was given a bronze medal for the 70 to 74 age group.
But as he started walking away, Grobins said he was called back to the podium with organizers saying, “Oh, we made a mistake; you won gold, not bronze.”
Winning is not an unfamiliar feeling for the lighthearted 70-year-old golfer, who has been playing since he was 16 years old. Now retired, he said he enjoys playing golf almost every day.
Two years ago he won gold at the 55+ BC Games (previously called BC Seniors Games) when the tournament was held in Coquitlam, and last year he won silver when the tournament was held in Vernon.
The annual five-day, multi-sport event, which gathers over 2,000 55 plus athletes from across B.C, was held in Kimberly and Cranbrook last month.
Grobins said this year was not an easy win, however. He was falling behind until the last day of the tournament, when he began turning things around.
“The guy who was beating me was way down there, he had me by seven strokes, and then on the last day everything fell together.”
Although Grobins admitted that he enjoys the thrill of winning, he says the tournament really isn’t about that.
“You meet people, have fun and socialize,” he said. “You meet lots of new people and sometimes you run into the same people you played against or socialized in previous tournaments.”
“For the seniors it’s more of an outing; a lot of these athletes just want to have fun and meet new people,” he continued. “We all enjoyed each other’s companies, had beers, burgers and relaxed.”
Grobins competed at the 55+ BC Games with Zone 11, which this year was comprised of 16 players from the Burns Lake, Topley, and Houston areas. However, Grobins was the only Houston athlete.
When asked why didn’t more Houston seniors participate this year, Grobins said the cost of participating in the tournament might be prohibitive for some.
“You have to pay for our own gas, camping, and you pay fees when you qualify,” he explained. “A lot of them can’t afford it.”
But given his great experience at the 55+ BC Games, Grobins said he wishes more Houston seniors had the opportunity to “get out there and get involved.”