Athletes

Greg Baker’s return to the Senior Games and to Stanford is a full circle story. He won the javelin throw in the 2007 Games in Louisville despite early symptoms of what was eventually diagnosed as a pituitary tumor. In January 2008, doctors at Stanford Hospital & Clinics removed the tumor and Baker has been clear ever since. He’ll compete again this summer, though with a different approach.

“It’s been a challenge to learn to adapt and slow down,” Baker, a Louisiana insurance agent, said. “I am rethinking how to live and compete – just to be in the Games is enough.”


Photo courtesy of Maryland Senior Olympics

Claudia Simpson will return to her birthplace and celebrate her birthday when she competes in the Senior Games at Stanford this summer. Born at Stanford Hospital & Clinics on August 1 almost 56 years ago, Simpson moved east as a child, ran tack in high school and lived life, including the survival of breast cancer. She’ll compete in a total of 11 events – six at the track and five in the pool.

“I run for fun, fitness and to literally follow in the footsteps of my parents,” Simpson said. “They participated in the Senior Games until my mother died in 1993.” When not training, she teaches yoga in hospitals and as private therapy.


Chris Simpson had so much fun watching her sister Claudia compete at the 2007 Senior Games in Louisville that she’ll be competing at Stanford in some of the same swimming events. A Vermont resident, Simpson trains in an Endless Pool – an aquatic treadmill – in her basement 30 minutes each day. “It’s how I keep my sanity as a school teacher during the long winters,” Simpson said.

In addition to celebrating a return to their birthplace – Chris was also born at Stanford Hospital & Clinics – the Simpsons will hold a memorial during the Games for both of their now deceased parents who met in the San Francisco Bay area.


Randall Stafford, MD, PhD, who will compete in all four cycling races at the Senior Games, has been riding the hills of his native Palo Alto since adolescence. As an associate professor in the School of Medicine and Director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices in the Stanford Prevention Research Center at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, he advocates his passion for fitness to colleagues and patients.

“I enjoy the camaraderie of being with others who are intent on preserving their quality of life as they grow older,” Stafford said. “Daily physical activity plays a key role in preventing many health problems.”

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