Bertina practices bocce before heading off to the competition.

Bertina Williamson, who is  82 years young, lives in Arnold, Maryland, in a home supported by Gallagher Services. She was recognized as the oldest athlete to compete in the 2018 Special Olympics of Maryland at Towson University. Her enthusiasm and skill won her a gold medal for bocce. Joining Bertina were housemates Mary Clooney, Anna

‘Ria’ Marinucci and Ellen Boyle, as well as,Veronica Riggs, who lives in Glen Burnie and is also supported by Gallagher Services.

“It is remarkable to have Bertina playing bocce at 82 years of age. Not many people begin to compete in their 80s,” said Kira Northrop, with Special Olympics Maryland during an interview on WBAL TV.

Since 1990, Bertina has played competitive bocce – her favorite sport. She also bowls, golfs, and plays basketball and hockey. She practices once a week for two hours.

Marge Elliott, site manager for a Gallagher home in Arnold, said Bertina has always been active and loves life. “Bertina has earned bragging rights for winning a gold medal and being the oldest athlete to compete.”