Ramona Trujillo is one-of-a-kind. In more ways than one. Of the 1300 athletes competing in the 25th Annual New Mexico State Senior Olympics, she is the only one who has registered and competed all 25 years!
But Ramona is remarkable for a lot more than just showing up.
When the first New Mexico Senior Olympics was announced 25 years ago, Ramona said she and her husband talked it over and decided, “Let’s try it.” That first year the two of them entered and both won medals. Ramona did especially well in the 50 and 100 yard dashes.
She had no formal athletic training. (As Ramona says, “In my college days, sports were for boys only.”) But it was no surprise she did well. This was a woman who liked to keep active. In fact, when the New Mexico Senior Olympics began, she had already had two successful careers.
Born and raised in Socorro County, she received her degree from UNM, then taught in the Socorro school system for more than 20 years. After her retirement from teaching, she couldn’t be idle, so she took up nursing…and practiced her second profession for a decade. To top it off, she has been an RSVP volunteer for 25 years.
Even now, after her move to Valencia County, she helps out at the Senior Center nearly every day. And during the school year, she also helps at St. Mary’s School.
Five years ago, her husband of 60 years died. But Ramona keeps on competing in the Senior Olympics the way they started out together. She admits that after having knee surgery a few years ago, she had to drop out of the dashes. So she has to “limit” herself to the 800 meter estimated run/walk, race walking, shuffleboard and various recreational events. And she still wins gold medals.
Ramona has some advice for other seniors of all ages. “Get involved in more activities,” she says. “It doesn’t hurt to participate. The more you do, the happier and healthier you’ll be.”
The 25th Annual New Mexico State Senior Olympics will take place August 6 through August 10 in Las Cruces, mainly on the campus of New Mexico State University. Approximately 1300 senior athletes from all parts of the state will compete.
The Opening Ceremony will be held Wednesday, August 6 at 7 pm in the Delamater Activity Center. The public is invited to view the Ceremony and all athletic, musical and talent competitions at no charge. For more information, call 646-3897; or visit www.nmseniorolympics.org.