Gert Scholtz en beBee in English BeBee Ambassador • beBee 6/11/2016 · 2 min de lectura · 2,2K

The Masters at Perth

The Masters at Perth

I have been astounded and inspired the last two weeks. The World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth Australia showed what the human body and spirit is capable of. Do view the following video, especially the inspirational Bill Collins of the USA. Listen to his story:  Bill Collins of the USA

The championship event attracted four thousand athletes from more than ninety countries. The atmosphere was festive and the event a celebration of ability at any age. Everywhere there was elated exuberance at the privilege of being part of the competition. Many achieved their personal best (author included) and every so now and then a new world record was announced (author definitely excluded). In the heat of up to forty degrees Celsius, they ran, threw, jumped and hurdled.

I saw a ninety year old Peruvian man win his sprinting event and then dance away in front of a music stage only minutes after he completed his run. Many athletes entered three events making qualifying rounds and finals – six days of grueling competition. There was a seventy year old man who ran his long distance event barefoot. A few athletes stumbled and fell before the end post – all stood up to finish the race. 

The oldest male competitor at ninety seven finished his distance run by hobbling the last few hundred meters to applause I seldom hear. The oldest lady in the event won the ladies ninety five plus age group shot put. Asked what her secret to longevity is, she replied: “Exercise and eat lots of meat and potatoes”. I am following her dietary advice happily.

It was my first time in this remote part of the world and I had the chance to see some of the surrounding areas. Western Australia is two and a half million square kilometers –a square kilometer for every person living there. The nearest city of significance to Perth is Adelaide, a mere three thousand kilometers by road. 

This out of the way and down under part of the world is definitely worth visiting. The beauty of the white beaches, the tall trees of the woods, the blindingly bright sun, the charmingly friendly Aussies and the expanse of Australia is left a firm imprint on me. Here, space, distance and natural beauty takes on new dimensions. A place to slow down, take in and absorb the vastness.

The Athletics wonderment never stopped. Men and women in their sixties and seventies clocked times that much younger athletes would envy. As I prepared to go into my qualifying round, behind me sat five men aged eighty and higher waiting for their event. “What are you competing in?’ I asked them. “We are doing pole vault” came a calm reply. "No way!", I thought. A while later they all trundled off to the track to jump as high as they can while heaving themselves off a fiber pole. Now I had really seen it all.

As for myself  - happy to say I took fifth place in the finals of my long jump event, totally unexpected and much better than what I had aimed and hoped for. The photo above is me in full flight during the final event.  

Outwardly a competitive leap; inwardly a jump of joy. 

Photo Credits: Perth Masters Athletics Facebook Page

Main Image: LeRoy Neiman

Tausif Mundrawala 20/4/2017 · #19

Today I got introduced to an athletic who is my friend, Gert. Sharing anecdotes makes our experiences rich enough to be cherished. More than youngsters, people of old age are more physically powerful. I have seen older folks in their nineties walking and jogging on a a renowned promenade known as Nariman Point here. Once my relative was cribbing about his physical inability to walk , at that very moment I sited the example of the earlier mentioned folks. I loved your post in its entirety and thanks for introducing us our athletic Gert.

You are a gem on this wonderful platform's crown my friend, @Gert Scholtz

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Gert Scholtz 7/11/2016 · #18

@Deb Helfrich Well I never thought of it that way - more reason to continue - thanks Deb!

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Deb 🐝 Helfrich 7/11/2016 · #16

Those jumps for joy are the new key to aging well! Congrats, Gert, great result.

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Gert Scholtz 7/11/2016 · #15

@Irene Hackett @Julie Hickman @Aurorasa Sima Yes the ladies aged sixty and up were incredible. Do have a look at the video referenced and related ones on YouTube. Many thanks for your comments and shares!

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Gert Scholtz 7/11/2016 · #14

@Ken Boddie @Dean Owen @Praveen Raj Gullepalli @Paul Walters @Pascal Derrien What I thought was pure poetry in motion turned to a "leap into a heap" and a "thorn up the proverbial" LOL! Thanks for your comments and tags all - much appreciated!

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Praveen Raj Gullepalli 7/11/2016 · #13

#9 Haha Ken, that is an apt sentiment indeed, considering the commendable gap that Gert did cover in that one splendid, spirited leap before ending up in a heap! ( Gert sorry, just being funny....I just finished reading Pablo's Christmas post - on the famed letters Javbee dinna write to Juanbee - and am yet to recover fully from the heavy snowfall of crackling good humour!)

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Paul Walters 7/11/2016 · #12

@Gert Scholtz poetic in flight and on the page! Thanks and glad you enjoyed it even if there was no medal to take home!!

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Pascal Derrien 7/11/2016 · #11

Kool stuff Gert and very well done on your results !!!!! There was an 84 year old guy in my marathjon race last week :-)

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