NEW ALBANY – New Albany residents Miles Johnson and James Dean recently competed at the 2021 Mississippi Senior Olympics in Biloxi on May 13 and 14. Both men competed in the bowling tournament and they each brought home medals from their competitions.
Johnson competed in the singles event and placed fourth in the 70-74 age group. His scores in the men’s singles were 157-171-166 for a total of 494.
He also competed in the mixed doubles and finished second in that event.
“My female partner was 50-years old and we competed in the 50-54 age group because they took the youngest age in the mixed doubles, so we took her range,” Johnson said. “We came in second in the mixed doubles and my partner’s name was Deb Horman. She was from out of Hattiesburg.”
Dean competed in the men’s doubles competition with Johnson’s brother Willie. He also competed in mixed doubles in the 60-65 age group since his bowling partner was in that age range.
“I competed with his brother Willie and we came in first place in the men’s doubles, I can’t remember our scores, but we did come in first place,” Dean said. “We got the gold.
“We qualified for the Nationals in the men’s doubles which will be in Fort Lauderdale, Florida next year.”
The 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana will be held from May 10-23, 2022.
Dean shared that he occasionally bowls in a league, but he currently is not involved in one because he is running for a local municipal office and has been busy on the campaign trail. Johnson’s brother got both men to participate in the Mississippi Senior Olympics.
“Willie (Johnson’s brother) had invited me to join in and I thought that it was something that as a senior citizen retiree that I could do and I really enjoyed myself doing this,” Dean said.
“James and Willie got me to join the group and it was a good activity to do, that’s how I came along,” Johnson said. “I’m the rookie of the group, so to speak.
“My brother went before, he’s went in 2016 and 2018, so this year he got James and me to go down there and join the activities. We had a great time.”
Both men highly recommended the Mississippi Senior Olympics to anyone that might want to try it.
“We both were surprised that we didn’t meet anyone from north Mississippi that competed in bowling, now they had other events like track, golf, swimming and other sports, but we didn’t attend those,” Johnson said. “For bowling, there was no one from north Mississippi except the three of us.”
“One thing about the competition is that you get to meet people that you would never meet if you didn’t participate,” Dean said. “During the time that we went down there, we made friends. The lady that I bowled with in mixed doubles was from Hattiesburg.
“We got to meet and make new friends and it’s something that we can carry on throughout the rest of our lives.”