The Olympic Games are now pitting neighbor against neighbor in one retirement community.
In The Glen at Scripps Ranch retirement community, neighbors marched out of their homes Monday under banners representing their new countries.
“Well, you know, it didn’t surprise me because this is what it’s like almost every day here,” said resident Don Demko with a laugh.
Demko marched with the country of Noble Birdies, a golfing clan that hoped to represent itself well in the weeklong Senior Olympics.
“I’m going to play bocce ball,” declared Demko, “cornhole, I’m going to do billiards.”
Doris Yorysh said she will compete in water sports underneath the Kingdom of Koi flag.
“I had the most unique birthday party,” Yorysh, who turned 92 on Monday, said with a laugh. "I couldn’t have planned it better."
Demko and Yorysh were two of roughly 200 residents of The Glen to sign up to participate in the games. Other neighbors belonged to Kermit Canyon Country, Bella Terrazza, Rosalia and Olive Arbor, whose banner featured a martini glass with an olive. Monday's opening ceremony consisted of each country marching through the neighborhood and passing the torch to each new country to join the parade.
“We just have a lot of fun here," Demko said. "It’s awesome.”
Demko added that Monday wasn’t the first time the community had gathered since the pandemic restrictions were lifted. However, he said, they limited their time outside the community to protect themselves and each other.
“It’s much better now, of course," Demko said. "It gets better every day."