2013 National Senior Games

How Cleveland Made the National Senior Games Rock

From July 19 – August 1, 2013, 10,888 athletes over the age of 50 converged on the City of Cleveland to participate in the 2013 National Senior Games. The event featured 19 different medal-contending sports, multiple free public events and support from over 75 local and national sponsors.

Beyond The Games

Greater Cleveland Sports Commission is dedicated to ensuring that events held in Cleveland are more successful than when held in any other city. In addition to the $36.1 million in economic impact the National Senior Games infused into the Northeast Ohio economy, GCSC provided youth clinics and health and educational programming to enhance community impact.

Hosting the National Senior Games provided an opportunity to develop the Year of Vitality, a year-long programming series on healthy living and active lifestyles, which reached an additional 10,000 residents in and around Greater Cleveland. 

Visitors to the Village
Total Visitors

Senior Games Facts

  • 2013 National Senior Games surpassed all economic impact projections, generating $36.1 million of economic activity to Northeast Ohio
  • Pickleball made its competitive debut at the 2013 National Senior Games
  • City of Light Cauldron became Cleveland’s newest permanent art structure in downtown Cleveland leaving a lasting legacy in the city 
  • 306 athletes who participated were from Cuyahoga County (Northeast Ohio)
  • Six of the athletes who registered for The Games were 99 or older
  • The Games highlighted Cleveland’s accessible downtown infrastructure, with 11 competitions and ancillary events held in the Downtown space
  • Every athlete received a free Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority pass
Million of Economic Activity
Million Raised
Medal-Contending Sports


Athletes proved that with the right attitude and an emphasis on fitness, competition can always be a positive part of a person’s life. Whether it was picking up a floor burn on the basketball court, pushing the limits on the bicycle or spiking home the perfect volleyball set, the 2013 National Senior Games athletes inspired Cleveland with their dedication and perseverance.


  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Bocce Ball
  • Bowling
  • Cycling 
  • Disc Golf
  • Golf
  • Horseshoes
  • Pickleball
  • Race Walk 
  • Racquetball
  • Road Race
  • Shuffleboard
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis 
  • Track and Field
  • Triathlon 
  • Volleyball

World-Class Facility

2013 National Senior Games had the privilege of being the inaugural event at the brand-new 90,000-square-foot Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. The facility housed The Village sponsored by AstraZeneca which featured competitions in volleyball, badminton, pickleball and shuffleboard. It also served as the operational headquarters for the event.

Million Media Impressions

It Takes a Village

2013 National Senior Games's large footprint required many different event spaces and facilities including:  

  • Baldwin Wallace University 
  • Berea Recreation Center
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Chagrin Valley Athletic Club
  • Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland 
  • Cleveland Metroparks
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • Cleveland Public Hall
  • Cleveland State University
  • Downtown Cleveland 
  • Freeway Lanes
  • James Day Park
  • Laurel School
  • LifeWorks of Southwest General
  • Little Mountain Golf Club
  • Mayfield Racquet Club
  • Quail Hollow Golf and Country Club
  • Stonewater Golf Club
  • Volunteer Park
  • Western Reserve Tennis Club

Community Celebrations

To provide both a celebration for athletes and create local engagement around the National Senior Games in Cleveland, GCSC hosted several rock ‘n roll-themed ancillary events.

National recording artist, Rusted Root, helped light the City of Light Monument at the Opening Festival which was followed by American figure skater and gold medalist, Scott Hamilton’s appearance as a mascot before hosting the Celebration of Athletes. Additionally, The Village offered live entertainment, exhibits and partner booths at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.

A Lasting Legacy

As part of the legacy of the 2013 National Senior Games, GCSC executed the design and creation of “The City of Light” monument to serve as an iconic centerpiece of the two-week competition. The cauldron not only represents the commitment and resolve of the National Senior Games athletes, it also symbolizes the unification of the Cleveland community following the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire to encourage the passage of the Clean Water Act of 1972.

The flame-shaped architectural sculpture was illuminated with LED lights during the Opening Festival and will serve as a permanent reminder of what the National Senior Games meant to Cleveland. 

Community Focused

The Year of Vitality program was created help chang the attitude and perception of aging in Northeast Ohio. The program gave people opportunities to exercise new healthy behaviors and promoted Cleveland as a city that is conducive to healthy and active aging. These programs added a new dimension to the Games never before seen.

The Year of Vitality included 111 individual events throughout Northeast Ohio and impacted nearly 10,000 people.


2013 National Senior Games was a true community effort. GCSC relived heavily on volunteers to support 19 sports, 20 venues and to serve over 10,000 athletes. 

Volunteers were recruited to fill nearly 4,000 shifts over the two-week event. Recruitment began a year prior to the Games and created a strong base for a consistent volunteer program for future events.

Total Impact

2013 National Senior Games provided an opportunity to positively impact the Northeast Ohio community. The "Year of Vitality," a year-long series of free community programs held before The Games, was a collaboration of senior-serving organizations, sponsors, community foundations and volunteers. The series was a first in the history of the National Senior Games. 

In a post-event survey, visitor's perception of Cleveland was improved greatly due to their experience here during the Senior Games. Additionally, community engagement initiatives such as the ambassador and volunteer programs, drew thousands more into the mix of the National Senior Games in Cleveland.

I have participated in seven National Senior Games in seven cities since 2001, and Cleveland is the only one I’d like to come back and visit. I loved Cleveland!

2013 National Senior Games Athlete

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