Don’t let Morah “Moe” Roberts petite stature and soft spoken nature fool you because the 85 year old is a strong competitor and this year took top honors by winning the gold medal in the horseshoe event at the National Senior Games held in Minneapolis.
The Rural Hall resident has been competing in the games since the late 80’s and garnered another gold finish in 1991.
“I really don’t know why I chose horseshoes when I started out. We moved from place to place when I was growing up and one of the places had horseshoe pits. Back then they dug them out and you pitched with mule shoes that are smaller than what we use today. I had two brothers that pitched a half a dozen times or so, maybe that’s where it came from,” she said.
Roberts was part of the two-week National Senior Games that hosted over 12,000 men and women ages 50 and older in 19 sporting events. She qualified to participate on the local level at Miller’s Park in Winston Salem and punched her ticket to nationals after a strong showing at states in Raleigh.
“It becomes like a family. You see a lot of the same faces,” Roberts said. “It’s sad when someone isn’t there you’re used to seeing. You just don’t know from year to year.”
Roberts has traveled throughout the country competing in shuffleboard, bocce, cornhole, and croquet.
“I could have done those in nationals this year but a lot of the sports overlap so they tell you to choose the one you like best,” she said.
Recently Roberts competed in a tournament in Winston Salem and beat out 10 men.
“Those are the ones I like to win,” she smiled. “I was so proud of myself. I think they’re a little surprised when a woman wins and even though they would never say anything, a little mad.”
While many of the athletes competing in the senior games are there to reclaim their high school glory days Roberts admits to never playing organized sports until she was older.
“I wanted to play basketball so bad but my mother wouldn’t let me wear shorts.”
Some would say she’s making up for lost time. With a myriad of trophies and ribbons, she’s isn’t planning on slowing down even though she’s turning 86 in November.
Staying active is very, very important, Roberts said.
“You hear people say they’re bored; I’ve never been bored. I can always find something to do.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at (336)-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.