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Idaho Senior Games continues this weekend with pickleball

82-year-old Dick Johnson is looking forward to defending his crown as a pickleball gold medal champion at the Idaho Senior Games this weekend.
Posted at 2:56 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 16:56:58-04

BOISE, Idaho — 82-year-old Dick Johnson is looking forward to defending his crown as a pickleball gold medal champion at the Idaho Senior Games this weekend.

Dick is one of the best pickleball players in the world on the senior tour, at the end of April he won gold at the U.S. Open and picked up another gold in the National Senior Games in Ft. Lauderdale Florida all while catching COVID in between.

"There are about six majors across the country and I’ve played them all and won them all the last six or seven year, "said Johnson. "This year has been no different, I’ve won three of the six so far with three more to go, if I can do that I will win the grand slam again, which is winning all the majors."

Dick Johnson grew up playing tennis, but he switched to pickleball ten years ago, this sport has smaller courts which is one of the reasons why it has been dubbed the fastest growing sport for years now, it has become really popular here in the Treasure Valley and with seniors as this game helps them stay active.

"Grand kids can play with grandpa, women can play with men and everybody has a good time," said Johnson. "Pickleball is very welcoming, friendly and social although when you get to a world class level it gets pretty serious."

Johnson needs to do well this weekend to qualify for the Huntsman World Games in October, an event that will be a huge deal for the Dick and his wife Lawana who goes to every tournament, Dick will be inducted into the hall of fame at the world games.

"It really is quite an honor I’m just so thrilled about it," said Johnson. There will be 35 sports, 12,000 athletes from more than 53 countries."

But first Dick will compete in the Idaho Senior Games, he already won a gold in cornhole as the senior games has been going on for a couple of weeks, this weekend he turns his attention to pickleball.

"It’s a wonderful event I love it," said Johnson. "It is for people 50 years and over and you have to medal in it to qualify for the World Senior Games.

The Idaho Senior Games will finish up the following week with tennis, the games features several other events including track and field, basketball, bowling and several other sports.