Bill McCarthy has loved playing racquetball for 30 years. The Green resident took his love for the game to new heights this past summer when he competed in the Senior Olympic Games held in Cleveland.
"I began playing racquetball in college 30 years ago," McCarthy said. "My roommate in college got me started and I have been playing ever since. I normally play two or three times a week down at the Hall of Fame Fitness Center for between two to three hours. Normally, I split this between singles and doubles play. There is a group of us from work that go down there and I have also met others while playing."
This summer he decided to play in the Senior Olympics because it was being held in Cleveland. This event is held every two years at different cities around the nation.
"I try to play in some sort of national level event every few years," McCarthy said. "And to qualify for the Senior Olympics you had to qualify in a state competition the year before. I was able to do this and qualified for the (Senior) Olympics. The Olympic competition was held down at Baldwin Wallace College."
To be eligible for the Senior Olympics you must be at least 50 years old. McCarthy was 51 when he made his initial qualification and 52 this past summer when he competed at Baldwin Wallace.
"I competed in both the singles and doubles event," McCarthy said. The singles were run on the Olympic format while the doubles were a round robin competition. I played in what is called 'pool play' where there were three sets of teams. We lost all our games in this but then I competed in the playoffs to win a seat in the bracket. Eventually I ended up playing seven games. In the doubles the winners were determined by total points."
When all the dust had cleared McCarthy ended up winning the singles. In the doubles he and his teammate Doug Moore finished second, loosing out on top honors by two points.
"Winning first place was pretty good," McCarthy said. "I beat Mark Bianchi who was from Oklahoma."
Taking first- and second-place in the Senior Olympics is still quite an accomplishment. But for McCarthy it is all part of the game.
"I really love the game," he said. "I get a good workout and it is fun to play. Playing doubles is also a good social event. And I enjoy the strategy involved in both singles and doubles."