The countdown has begun, and Bend is less than five months away from an influx of athletes ages 50 and older who can run, jump, swim, and throw a whole lot better than many of their younger counterparts.

Registration opened Wednesday for the 2014 Oregon Senior Games, sponsored by Humana. The event will take place in Bend, Oregon June 19-22, and is open to any athlete age 50 and older with no prequalification necessary. Competitors who qualify at the 2014 Oregon Senior Games will have the chance to compete at the 2015 National Senior Games in St. Paul, Minnesota.

“We’re thrilled to be hosting the Oregon Senior Games for the first time in Bend,” explained Kevney Dugan, director of Sales & Sports Development for Visit Bend. “Prior to this, Oregon was one of only two states that did not have an NSGA-sanctioned Senior Games. This is an amazing opportunity to showcase Bend as the ultimate outdoor playground.”

Spots are limited for many of the athletic categories in the lineup, so participants are encouraged to register soon. Events in the 2014 senior games will include swimming, track & field, golf, pickleball, tennis, archery, racquetball, shuffleboard, table tennis, over the line, bowling, cowboy action shooting, a 5k walk/run, and several more sports to be announced in the coming months.

Because the Oregon Senior Games will be sanctioned by the NSGA, the top four finishers in most sports in each age group will qualify for the National Senior Games, as will competitors who meet minimum performance standards in applicable sports. For more information about performance standards and age categories, visit http://nsga.com.

To register for the Oregon Senior Games, go to www.visitbend.com/seniorgames

“The dedication, personal strength and sheer joy exhibited by those participating in athletic events like the upcoming Oregon Senior Games is inspiring and shows the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle in the pursuit of lifelong well-being,” said Oraida Roman, president of Senior Products for Humana’s Intermountain Region. “As a company dedicated to promoting health and lifelong well-being, Humana is proud to honor those who inspire Americans of all ages to get active and make changes that can lead to a healthier, happier life.”

For more information, go here: www.visitbend.com/seniorgames