Once you've been in a relationship for a long time, trust me, it's a good thing to bring in something new that will serve both of you, not just one, and will strengthen your accord.

Bob and Suzanne Plourde of Wareham were in a pickle. "Twenty years ago, we hardly had any friends around here. Now fast forward to July, 2021, Suzanne and I have the greatest, kindest close friends you could hope for, and all because of pickleball," Bob Plourde said.

Obviously, pickleball and the Plourdes make a perfect union. But there's much more about what pickleball has done to eight early senior couples.

"I retired after 37 years as an educator, and that's when I finally had time to learn how to play pickleball and watch over my parents as well," Suzanne said.

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Pickleball is a zany name for an easy to play game for all the family that's a modern day marriage of a little tennis, a touch of badminton and the wham-bam of ping pong.

"You know, you begin a new marriage on the honeymoon stage, and it feels amazing," Plourde said. "Pickleball specifically has brought together people who were once strangers, but now are friends and socially active."

We see frequently in America how sports can and does bring people together. It's not surprising that this sport has taken off.

"Look at me, I'm smiling a lot more, I'm getting great exercise, I'm sleeping a lot better and I can honestly tell you that all this and more is because of pickleball," Plourde said.

The Pickle-B-couples have set up their own private website to stay connected daily and to give out schedules of pickleball matches and any useful information. This winter, some of the couples are going to Florida together. On any given night, they're at someone's home enjoying dinner and each other's company – and all because of pickleball.

All The Massachusetts Athletes That Made Team USA

The Tokyo Olympics are this summer and nearly two dozen of the athletes hail from the Bay State. Here are all the Massachusetts members competing for Team USA.