SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A 91-year-old Sioux Falls man came home from a national competition with plenty of hardware.

Don Phillips of Sioux Falls recently returned from the National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“I did 13 events down there. It was all track and field. There was eight field events and four throws and four jumps and I did those, and then five track events,” Phillips said.

He was 56 years old when he first competed in the senior games events.

“I’d never been to a track meet. Never even saw a track meet before that, so it was a learning experience,” Phillips said.

The National Senior Games happen every two years. To make it there, athletes must qualify at a state event. Phillips says over 11,000 athletes were registered nationally in 2022.

The games were in Minnesota in 2015.

“First gold medal I ever won was there, and I come home with six of them,” Phillips said.

And he would only add to that success. His 13 medals from this year’s games include nine gold, two silver and two bronze.

“There’s always a little adrenaline build up when you put yourself out there,” he said. “After it’s over, why, it’s just been a great experience. The sportsmanship there is tremendous. It’s really, people are there for the fun camaraderie.”

His daughter Diane and her husband were there watching him compete.

“These people are pretty energetic. They’re really go-getters,” she said.

Carte Schmidt: Is this something you’ll continue to do as long as you can?

Phillips: I would like to. I would like to keep doing it.

Phillips says he tries to be active at least four days a week.

The Sioux Falls Regional Senior Games take place this week.