40 years a master: The Oscar for athletic longevity goes to Kiwi

Iris Bishop and daughter Janice Maxwell.

My apologies for the headline. I just finished watching the Academy Awards. But I couldn’t help but cheer a news nibble from Down Under. The Southland Times of New Zealand reports: “Seventy nine-year-old Iris Bishop has competed at all 40 editions of the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Championships. She and her daughter Janice Maxwell, both of Christchurch, competed at the championships held in Invercargill at the weekend. Heading into today’s fourth and final day, Bishop has won gold medals in weight throwing and in the 60 metres and silver medals in the hammer, shot put, discus and javelin. Maxwell, competing in the 50-54 division, landed silver medals in the shot put and discus, along with bronze medals in weight throwing and hammer. The mother and daughter are competing in the weight pentathlon today. Bishop usually builds a holiday into trips to overseas Masters events. ‘I just love sport, I’ve always been a sports person,’ she said.” I say bully for her. If you had a choice between setting a world record and competing in nationals four decades in a row, what would you choose?
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March 3, 2014

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