2012 TN Senior Olympics: You just never know what’s going to happen…

25Jul12

Anne and I were very surprised when I was nominated for Most Inspiring Athlete at the Tennessee Senior Olympics banquet during the state finals. What Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN has decided to do is a sweepstakes where those VOTING in the “Choose Your Champ” can win $500. All of a sudden there was a two-minute vignette featuring me chatting about my transplants and all I’d had to overcome to get there. Wow.

This year’s Senior Olympics was a challenge as I’d had to wear an elbow brace and doctor’s orders, along with Anne’s special brand of gentle persuasion, kept me out of cycling and my beloved basketball events. My team, the Time Benders, had won gold at Districts in the 55-59 3-on-3 and your’s truly earned a silver in Free Throw shooting although I “baumed” in Three Point as the elbow had begun to bother me. The next day I tore a tendon in that elbow during my first softball throw. Thank God it was before the shot put or who knows?

Still ended up with a bronze in the Powerwalk, silver in the Triple Jump and gold in the 10K. Special thanks to the two best distance runners in my age group that no-showed leaving a few of us mere mortals to slog out the 10K!

Always a pleasure to chat with and support the other senior athletes. You cultivate friendships and “The Games” is like a big family reunion for most. Many inspiring stories as not everyone was a natural athlete who had remained active throughout their lives. Many, like me, were just happy to be there. As I said in the :60 spot that will be used to promote future games it’s simply “In One Word? Joy!”

So then on to the “Choose Your Champ” sweepstakes:

Vote for Steve? I’m hoping you can help me:

 “I have been nominated by Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Tennessee Senior Olympics as one of their Most Inspirational Athletes in their “Choose Your Champ” sweepstakes.

Some background: I received the Second Gift of Life with a liver and kidney transplant 11/11/09 after being ill and physically inactive for over eight years. Literally dying. As a part of my paying it forward I sign new donors and to honor my own I participate in athletic events and speaking engagements.

Two half-marathons, a sprint triathlon, basketball in the Transplant Games and now, most recently, a Gold, Silver, and Bronze in track and field at the 2012 TN Senior Olympics show just how truly blessed my family and I have become.

Go to the Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN facebook page, “like” it, and vote for Steve Baum: the old fart with new parts on the bicycle. You could even win $500 for you or your organization! You can vote weekly!

 My family and I thank you for your consideration!”

So, as I walk into the registration area one of the young volunteers says “Look! It’s the guy in the poster!” Hmmm…didn’t see THAT comin’!



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