Georgia Billger receives Charlie Marten Memorial Award
Georgia Billger has been participating in Delaware Senior Olympics for more than 14 years. She started with volleyball and has also played softball and basketball, with her latest love being pickleball. She has medaled in all the sports at the Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland games and also won a gold in pickleball at the Eastern Shore Games and a silver in mixed doubles at a tournament in Williamsburg. Virginia. She has competed at the National Senior Games, and her team placed fifth in volleyball at the Huntsman Games.
In 2009, Georgia started feeling very tired and following tests discovered that she had two 100 percent blockages and two 80 percent blockages and needed emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery. Cardiac rehab started six weeks after surgery and continued even after her insurance ran out, as she wanted to return to her former level of fitness.
In December 2012 she had another setback with emergency abdominal surgery for an intestinal blockage from scar tissue from a previous surgery. After a 10-day hospital stay and an infection which increased her recovery time from six to eight weeks, Georgia was back in cardiac rehab. The cardiac rehab pushed her so much that she was able to play volleyball and pickleball again.
Georgia has taken over as the pickleball sports coordinator for DSO and has done a wonderful job with one of the area's fastest-growing sports. Her comeback reached a peak in July 2013 when at the National Senior Games in Cleveland she won a silver medal in singles pickleball. At the conclusion of the gold medal match her opponent commented, "That was the toughest match I ever had to play."
For her determined effort to return to a healthy lifestyle and her inspirational example for all seniors DSO recognizes Georgia Billger with its 2013 Charlie Marten Award.