Most people reach their 80s and decide it's time to take it slow, and watch from the sidelines as their children or grandchildren compete. But Madgalena Margelony of Shrewsbury decided 84 was the perfect age to start playing bocce with her daughter Theresa as a Unified partner.
"I don't remember what they called bocce in German, but I used to play, it was fun," said Madgalena who was born in Germany.
Theresa, 59, has been a Special Olympics athlete with the Shrewsbury program for about six or seven years now, competing in basketball, bocce and track & field. This year, however, Madgalena decided to join in the fun, supporting her daughter from right there on the court.
Madgalena will be the oldest person competing during Tournament of Champions and has really enjoyed playing so far.
Theresa likes competing, but also the social aspects of the team.
"The people I play with now, I love them, they're really good," Theresa said. She listed all the events they do together like Halloween parties, Christmas parties and more.
Some more news Madgalena and Theresa were excited to share -- Madgalena became a United States citizen on August 14th!
Madgalena grew up in Germany during World War II and came to the United States in May of 1958 when she was 23. She missed Germany very much, but because her husband served in the military they were able to live there again for 3 1/2 years before moving to Sunderland, Massachusetts and later to Shrewsbury. She had never gotten around to becoming a citizen, somewhat concerned about having to take the citizenship test. But now in her mid-80's she decided it was now or never.
"I love her so much, I'm so proud of her," Theresa said as she hugged her mom and posed for a picture.
A few years after her husband passed in 2002, Madgalena sold the family house and now enjoys living in senior housing in Shrewsbury. She has three adult children. Her son lives in New York City and will be moving to the west coast, while her older daughter and Theresa both live in Shrewsbury. She enjoys playing bocce with Theresa because it gives them a chance to spend time together every week.
"She is very very helpful," she said of Theresa. "Most people, they like her."
Madgalena isn't as physically active as Theresa, but she keeps her mind sharp by attending bingo and current affairs events each week at the senior center, and seeing friends.
"I should exercise more," she laughed.
Shrewsbury Program Coordinator Virginia Davidson, however, thinks Madgalena's doing just fine.
"When I'm 84, if I look like you, I'll be a happy lady!"