W80 superstar Irene Obera tells athletic life story on radio interview

Irene is a sprint legend going back to age 41.

In a terrific hour-long interview, WMA Athlete of the Year and Hall of Famer Irene Obera (“83 years young,” she says) tells how she evolved from her beloved game of softball to track, where she became a legend with no ending. The chat, graciously flagged by Rob Jerome, starts about 8 minutes in. She begins by saying she thought she was going to be a musician. But when she heard herself on a record she made with friends, she said: “Oh, that can’t be me. I was so pitiful.” First she fell into recreational hoops, walking 4-5 miles to a court. She later met Wilma Rudolph at Tennessee State. She became a PE teacher after attending Chico State. “I thought there was nothing better in this world than softball.” The interviewers on the National and International Roundtable are Arif Khatib, founder and president of the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, and Municipal Court Judge Fad Wilson Jr. She recalls inspirational sayings and stuff. “Records are made to be broken and medals tarnished, but friendships are forever” was one. She recalls winning $160 in an age-graded race. She didn’t get a deserved WMA trip to Monaco for IAAF shindig, but this was nice. “Don’t ever say you’re retired,” she said. “Say you’re on a break.” She’s taking one now (for a year), playing tennis.

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February 16, 2017

One Response

  1. Rob Jerome - February 17, 2017

    Such an incredible life and great woman.

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