Seniors are fans, jocks and winners this month all over the world of sports. Caregivers, home care aides and loved ones will love these stories of seniors who love sports, love winning and love beating the odds!

This year’s World Cup is exciting fans all over the world with its ups, downs, drama and triumphs. There are few people who have enjoyed more World Cup tournaments than Ludmila Kharyova. The 86-year-old soccer fan was thrilled to learn that Russia would be hosting the World Cup this year, and she volunteered right away. Her hometown of Kaliningrad was closed to outsiders during the Cold War because of its strategically important location on the Baltic Sea. This year it’s welcoming the world as one of the eleven World Cup host cities and Ludmila couldn’t be more excited. There are two other 86-year-old World Cup volunteers this year, but Ludmila stands out: she’s fluent in Spanish, and she’s rooting for her heartthrob Cristian Ronaldo (and his Portuguese team) as much as she is for Russia. Neither Portugal nor Russia made it into the semi-finals, but Ludmila is still wearing her official blue volunteer jacket with pride.

Octogenarian Carolynn Taylor should plan to buy a few lottery tickets, because she’s already beat crazy odds last month – and not for the first time! Eighty-one-year-old Carolynn has been playing golf for 60 years, she plays regularly in three different leagues, and she and her foursome are fearsome in local charity tournaments at her favorite course. She was playing at her favorite course, the 27-hole Terry Hills Golf Course in Batavia, NY, in late June, when she hit a hole in one! Now, the odds of any golfer hitting a hole in one, also called an ace, are about 12,500 to 1, so Carolynn ought to have been crazy excited. Not this cool customer! This is the third ace she’s sunk in her lifetime! No word on whether she bought the traditional round of drinks at the clubhouse, but she surely ought to buy some lottery tickets, just in case!

Ray Houlihan, a competitive cyclist from Turlock, CA, won gold twice in May at the 2018 Bay Area Senior Games. The 86-year-old cyclist won the 5K and the 10K races against his peers in the 85-90 age group, adding two more golds to two he’d already won as a senior cycler. Houlihan, who’s been racing since 1950, fights diabetes and neuropathy along with the terrain, fatigue and other ‘senior’ racers in the 50-and-over Senior Games. He rides laps every day for his health, and his competitive edge. He plans to ride 100 miles on his December birthday this year, and for the next two years as well, when he turns 90. We won’t bet against Ray reaching this goal, because he’s a proven winner!