‘I might have been another Carl Lewis,’ Champion Goldy says at 97

I don’t write enough about the best name in masters track: M95 Champion Goldy Sr. But his local paper did me a favor with this great profile. We learn some interesting things about Champ, 97, a member of the M90 relay teams that set WRs at North Carolina nationals. For example: “I’d like to run in the Penn Relays when I’m 100,” he said. “I could never beat anybody at that age, but I did beat a guy who was 85 years old a couple of times.” And: “The crazy thing is, if I had some coaching, I might have been another Carl Lewis. As a 14-year-old, they tell me I did the 100 in 10.2, and that’s pretty fast.” He’s still plenty fast. See you at Penn!

Champ outside home with his N.C. medals. Photo by Douglas Bovitt of Courier-Post

Champ with his N.C. nationals medals. Photo by Douglas Bovitt of Courier-Post

Here’s the bulk of Don Benevento’s great story on Champ:

Last month, he took part in the USA Track Association Masters Outdoor Championships at Wake Forest University, where he was the oldest competitor.

Goldy bagged five gold and two silver medals. One of the golds was awarded as result of his team’s five-man finish in the 4-by-100 relay for runners over 90. [Ken: Writer didn’t understand that 5 men contributed to the 4-men teams.] It was the first time the event was ever held, and the group won in 2 minutes, 22.37 seconds, now listed as a world record.

But Goldy keeps things in perspective and doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on winning.

“I’ve gotten a lot of gold,” he noted. “But at my age, sometimes I don’t have a lot of competition (competing in the 95-99 age group) unless it’s one of these big meets.”

But Goldy remains determined to live an active life.

“He’s the only man I know to start running at age 70,” said his son, Champ Jr. “He really enjoys it, and he’s won many trophies. I take him to a lot of his meets, and I really think it’s something.

“When I watch him,” the 68-year-old says, “I think, ‘Jeez, he’s doing pretty good.’ ”

Goldy has set a long-term goal for himself.

“I’d like to run in the Penn Relays when I’m 100,” he said. “I could never beat anybody at that age, but I did beat a guy who was 85 years old a couple of times.”

Goldy twice raced against 100-year-old Everett Houston. [Writer or Goldy meant Everett Hosack.]

“There was a picture of us in the newspaper with him standing in lane 1 and me on my knee,” he recalled. “I joked with him, ‘When are you going to get down here and get this race started?’

“He said, ‘If I get down there, I’ll never get up again.’ ”

Staying active

Goldy greets a visitor with a strong handshake and a warm smile. Nearby is a motorized chair he uses when he needs to get off his feet.

“I’m more actually more comfortable when I’m running than walking,” he explained. “When I’m running, I can go in a straight line.

“Walking, I go back and forth. I don’t like to go up and down stairs anymore, and I don’t like to walk long distances.”

When he competes, Goldy performs in more than running events. He began his career running the 100 and 200, but he noticed when he traveled to his various meets there was often a long time lag between events.

So in the interim, he took up throwing the javelin, the discus and the shot put.

By his own count, Goldy has won 300 medals during a career that has allowed him to compete all over the nation, as well as abroad. His longest trip for a meet was to Australia.

“I think he’s great,” said his wife, Evelyn. “I don’t think he’ll ever grow old because that’s the way he wants it to be.

“Whatever it is, he can do it — that’s the philosophy he’s trying to get across.”
Goldy’s next scheduled event is the New Jersey Games Sept. 5-7.

Working out

While Goldy doesn’t experience the solitude of the long-distance runner, he is pretty much alone when it comes to his training ritual.

His workout includes a half-mile run on the block where he resides, and he goes to a park across the street from his home to practice his throwing events.

When he’s not outside working out, he uses a treadmill in his garage to keep himself conditioned.

The workouts take place two or three times a week. If it takes a lot of discipline to stay in shape, Goldy is up to the challenge.

“I just feel like you’ve got to keep yourself going,” he said. “Your physical body, you’ve got to take care of it.”

Goldy is a self-taught athlete. He recalls playing some baseball, but he never had any coaching in track and field.

Now he wishes he had.

“The crazy thing is, if I had some coaching, I might have been another Carl Lewis,” he mused. “As a 14-year-old, they tell me I did the 100 in 10.2, and that’s pretty fast.

“When I did the broad jump, I did 22 feet — and Carl Lewis only did 29.”

Goldy’s son recalls an incident he witnessed at an Ohio meet.

“He went to throw the javelin and people were shocked,” the younger Goldy remembered. “I forget how far he threw it; I’ll say 45 feet.

“But it went pretty far compared to everyone else.”

Man of faith

Track and field isn’t the only activity Goldy continues.

His formal career as a minister may have ended, but that hasn’t stopped him from preaching an occasional sermon. During the summer months, he spreads the word in Surf City and Spray Beach.

“He helps a lot of people,” his son said. “If somebody calls and it’s something that needs to be taken care of, he does it. It could be 4 o’clock in the morning, he’ll go help the person.”

And Champ Goldy always will have time for workouts.

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August 19, 2014

One Response

  1. Peter L. Taylor - August 19, 2014

    “The Champ” is quite a character, and so is his son, “Young Champ.” In addition, I know that Champ has done a great deal of good over the years by ministering to the sick, and his wonderful attitude toward life can only help in that regard.

    I’ve had the honor of staying overnight at Champ’s home in Haddonfield, New Jersey, at least 10 times. Champ is very generous and thoughtful, and staying at his home is a lot cheaper than taking a night in a hotel for a Philadelphia-area meet. Sometimes I even get to see Young Champ (young at 68).

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