Nearly 10,000 athletes from around the country descended on the Twin Cities for the 2015 National Senior Games.

The 15-day event included, yes, horseshoes and shuffleboard, but also basketball, long jump and swimming races among 800 events at 26 locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Bloomington.

These athletes -- ranging in age from 50 to 101 -- demonstrated their abilities for the chance to win gold and become national champions in their sport and age groups.

The National Senior Games began in 1987, drawing 2,500 athletes to St. Louis to compete in 15 sports. Held every other year, the Games have become a magnet for seniors from around the country; the 2013 edition in Cleveland attracted 10,800 competitors, including 111 from Minnesota.

Star Tribune photographer Aaron Lavinsky caught up with some of the athletes to photograph them in their element, before and after competition.