The Senior Olympics in Mississippi began in 1984 when the Oxford Parks & Recreation Department wanted to offer an athletic event for senior athletes. They partnered with the University of Mississippi to hold the first Golden Games. The event drew 87 participants that year for a one day event. The following year the games expanded to 2 days due to increased participation and demand for additional events. In 1987 the Golden Games became a nonprofit corporation with Secretary of State Office. In 1991 the Golden Games was approached by Deposit Guaranty Bank to become the major sponsor for the event and provided employees to head the Board and implement the games. In 1992 the name changed to Mississippi Senior Olympics. By this time the games had grown to over 300 participants and became a 4 day event held at Hinds Community College. MSO moved to Clinton in 2006 and became an event under the Clinton Parks & Recreation Department. In 2015 MSO merged with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Senior Games and headquarters moved to Biloxi, MS. The 2020 MSO event will offer 20 different events over an 8 week period with an anticipated 800 participants. Some of the individuals over the years that played a major role in making the MSO a success are: Alan Jones, Jane Kennedy, Gwen Moore, Joyce Anderson, Lucy Bickham, Butch Ard and Chandra Fontenot.
Mission of Mississippi Senior Olympics
The MSO is a nonprofit corporation which provides a quality competitive athletic experience for adults 50 years of age and older. This annual event offers our seniors an opportunity to participate in athletic events that will enhance their quality of life and result in a healthy lifestyle throughout their lifetime. The games also offer a social network for participants to develop friendships and share in the athletic experience with others who have adopted a healthy lifestyle.
The objectives of the Mississippi Senior Olympic program are: