…and World Masters Athletics (WMA) recognized them (Kathy Martin, Bob Lida and 25 other athletes) as their 2017 Best Masters Athletes. WMA saw their annual Athlete of the Year honors were not sufficient considering there are so many athletes who deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts. The new Best Masters Athletes honors first and second overall and discipline athletes who were nominated by WMA Regions and other representatives. Much was learned in the first year of these significantly expanded awards. Look to see these improvements implemented in next year’s awards.
27 athletes were recognized and, thanks to help from WMA Regional leadership and a few dedicated athletes, many graciously shared their thoughts about being honored. Worldwide congratulations has been posted on websites and social media.
Estos resultados admirables indican que los pases de la regin tienen fuertes programas atlticos y excelentes atletas que merecen ser elogiados por su dedicacin y arduo trabajo. Felicitaciones a todos! (These admirable results indicate that the member countries of the region have strong athletic programs and fine athletes, who are to be commended for their dedication and hard work. Congratulations to all!)
NCCWMA President,Guillermo Guzman
I can’t express how pleased I am with the WMA announcement of this year’s World Athletes of the Year. It is the first time ever that both the male and the female awardees were from the same country. And this is the first year of the category awards where other outstanding US athletes were also named. Please join me in congratulating all of the WMA award winners and especially those from our USATF Masters Team. It takes talent and hard work not only from the individuals recognized, but also from all of their fellow teammates, administrators and officials. Thank you all.
USATF MTF Chair, Rex Harvey
One must wonder how many of these athletes will be on the list for 2018 with their hot start of the season, including a few World Records.
Click on their names to view their performances. Much of what follows is directly from the athletes.
Robert Lida (M81), USA – Men’s #1 Overall & Sprints
This award, Bob’s second WMA AoY, means a great deal to him.”It certainly validates all the time and effort ones puts into our sports. Im particularly pleased to be one of the 5 Americans who have won the award, and the only American to win it twice.”
Some say Bob has never grown up so we will say Bob spent his early years in Mission, Kansas and went to the University of Kansas, graduating in 1959. All his professional life was spent in marketing & advertising including working for Cessna Aircraft Company and his own advertising agency for 30 years. Now Bob has a small company that removes tattoos plus hecoaches sprinters at a local high school, has winter workouts for them and coach cross country in the fall. Track & Field is his major hobby as it consumes most of his time – it shows in the results!
Bob’s major highlight in 2017 was the World Indoor meet in Daegu, South Korea where he won golds in the 60, 200 and 400 meters set world records in the 200 and 400. “Lowering the 80-84 200 meter record by 2 seconds was a major accomplishment for me.” Healso enjoyed the NCCWMA Championships in Toronto
Kathy Martin (W65), USA – Women’s #1 Overall & Middle Distance
What does this award mean to you: I am so honored & humbled to be the recipient of this award. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love to do & then come the honors & recognition. I love being able to challenge myself & to set the bar a little higher for those who follow. It brings out the best in all of us. But what truly motivates me is to be a role model for the generations behind us. I want the message to be conveyed that fitness is a way of life & not just for a season of life. The health of our nation is at risk so if just someone looks, sees the story of starting at 30 & says Wow maybe I can do that.. My hope is that it might motivate them to just move their body.
A very important part of my success is the never ending support & encouragement of my coach & husband, Chuck Gross. He was the motivation behind my getting started & has endured all of the joys & frustrations of coaching & being married to “the athlete” – I am sure it is not an easy journey. He has an amazing ability to know when & how hard to push & when to smile & say “enough for today”. Following an intense workout, I often ask him how do you know what I am capable of because I know I could not do another repeat. He just smiles & says the numbers don’t lie… The gift & talent may have laid dormant for life if not for him getting me started.
What were your highlights of 2017: I love to travel so the highlights of course have to include the late 2016 trip to World Masters in Australia, & Korea & Toronto in 2017. We knew we probably would not get to Australia again so made it a month of travel. Did both North & South Island of New Zealand. We have traveled to so many places in the world that we would not have otherwise seen, if not for the running “bug”
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do: I work full time. I have a very active real estate practice for the past 35 years. It has been built through referrals of past clients & I am now selling to the children of people I sold homes to many years ago. I so highly value the trust & confidence my clients have in me & know that you do not have that privilege if people did not always have their best interest at heart. I feel so blessed with all the great opportunities life has given me. (It has not all been roses as you may know-not without life setbacks & injuries along the way…)
What are your hobbies: I love to sit quietly & read a good book. I love to travel & hope to do more…I love to walk on the beach with my 4 yr old Grand daughter who just brings such joy to our lives. being from Canada, time is spent with family & friends there as well-but it never seems like enough
Where did you grow up: I grew up in a rural village in Ontario, Canada called Millbrook. Less than 1000 people. Attended a one room school for a couple of years. Grew up in a very traditional family. Have 3 great brothers & my Mom is 87. She was a tremendous inspiration & role model through-out life, always instilling in us the belief that we could do anything & to try everything. Played pick up football, hockey, baseball whenever we could get enough kids together. There was no money for sports so we did our own…Went to Ottawa Civic Hospital School of Nursing & became a RN. Also attended Carleton University for a short while before meeting my now husband Chuck Gross (skiing) & relocating to NY. Was a nurse in both Canada & NY.
What else is interesting about you: I love life & all that it has to offer. My glass is usually at least 1/2 full. And when my time is up, I hope I have used all the energy that I have been given & am just a speck of dust. Its a good life.
Jose Luis Lopez Camarena (M67), MEX – Men’s #2 Overall & #1 Race Walks
Jose excelled in 2017, just like he has done every other year!? The multiple, individual WMA Championship gold medalist added two more in Daegu by almost 2 minutes in the 10000m plus set a World Record in the 3000m Walk.
Angela Copson (W70), GBR – Women’s #2 Overall & #1 Long Distance
I felt so proud when I heard I was to receive the masters European award although I did well in Aahus, I had not given the award a thought, so it was a wonderful surprise. I competed in fifty races in 2017 I think the race that stands out for me is the 800m in Aarhus, it was a W70 World record in 2:51.49
I am very active with my club Rugby & Northampton, I also spend time with my three Gran children school run ect. days out. I find as I get older I need to do more strengthening work to keep fit for racing.
Carol LaFayette-Boyd (W75), CAN – Women’s #1 Sprints & #2 Jumps
What does this award mean to you: It means that all the work my coaches have put into our practices has paid off. Also, “I CAN do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”.
What were your highlights of 2017:The highlights were running under 15 in the 100; running under 32 in the 200 and jumping over 4 meters in the Long Jump.
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do:I attend a great church. I am the family genealogist, however haven’t devoted the time I would like since I retired and I do a monthly Family Newsletter which is often very overdue. I am a member of an organization called the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum whose goal is to recognize and educate people about the contribution of people of African ancestry to our province. I am on 3 boards/committees related to Track & Field as I represent Masters’ athletes with Saskatchewan Athletics and Canadian Masters Athletics as well as the Bob Adams Foundation. I am also an advocate for Families and Children when needed.
What are your hobbies: Family Genealogy, reading when find time and of course Track & Field
What did you do for a living: I was first a psychiatric nurse for 10 years than a Social Worker for 33 years.
Where did you grow up: I was born on a farm in rural Saskatchewan (no running water or electricity), lived in a small town and then family moved to Regina when I was in grade 9.
Where did you go to school: I attended a one room school house (Oskaloosa-named after town in Iowa my grandfather came from) and then a small rural school – Anglia, then a school in a town (Rosetown) before moving tocity (Regina). I attended high school in Regina and in my first 3 years was the only known person of African Descent in all the high schools. I graduated as a psychiatric nurse in Weyburn, Saskatchewan then took my social work degree at the University of Regina on a part time basis.
What else is interesting about you: I have 3 wonderful grandchildren Amanda, Cody and Kaitlyn and 2 great grandchildren Haven and Holdyn. I have a great extended family of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunt, husband’s family and in-laws. They are more excited about this award than I am. I lived in the United States (Virginia, North Dakota and Illinois). I didn’t know when I lived in Virginia that my ancestors on my Dad’s side had come from there. I am related to the famous slave spy James Armistead LaFayette, but am unable to find the documentation on paper.
I want to credit my coaches – Carla Nicholls, Terry, Arthur, Jesse, Roger, Oak and Chad for their commitment to us Masters. Also my club ExCel Athletika for all their support and encouragement (and my family as well) – and my dear fellow athlete/track partner, Selina Coward who has been with me for 22 years encouraging, teaching, reminding me what the coach said, etc. And most of all none of us would be doing this without the officials and volunteers. We really need them! And of course those coaches who started me out 26 years ago – Mike Zimmerman, Al Seon and Terry Mountjoy (who are still around coaching). Also thanks to young ones Judy Warick, Loretta Amerongen, Muriel Gieni and Sandi Arnason who are always there coaching/cheering me on. I would also like to mention Helgard Houben, masters athlete from Germany who exemplifies a true athlete. When I competed with her in Sacramento and Budapest, each time she gave pointers to me on how to triple jump properly, enabling me to get gold. WOW! So many more – can’t name them all. Oh Yes – Doug Smith, Bob Reindl, Donna Dixon, Harold Morioka, Rob Jackson, Vern Christensen and Brian Keaveney who made/make sure I get credit for my events. Thank you MastersRankings and Ken Stone for all you do for us Masters.
Hans Smeets (M70), NED – Men’s #1 Middle Distance
What does this award mean to you: I am very proud of this award and is a recognition of the performance last year.
What were your highlights of 2017: Last year there were several highlights.
Twice European,- en twice world champion.
4 European records 800 meter indoors and outdoor; 1500 meters indoor and outdoor.
It was special being the first M70 running 1500m under 5 minutes indoors.
What else, other than Athletics, do you do: I am a passionate gardener.
What did / do you for a living: I was adaptation technician at a child rehabilitation center.
Where did you grow up: I was born and raised in Gulpen a small village in the southern part of the Netherlands.
Where did you go to school: I went to school in Gulpen, Heerlen and Maastricht.
What else is interesting about you: I am interested in informative, political, sports programs, and, together with my wife Lydie, I regularly do treks in the mountains.
Jean-Louis Esnault (M77), FRA – Men’s #1 Long Distance
Jean-Louis won 400m (by 0.4s), 800m (by almost 10s), 1500m (by almost 20s) and 3000m (by over 8s) at the WMA Championships in Daegu. He also set the World Record in the Steeplechase inArles, FRA on 18 June, 2017.
William Harvey (M72), USA – Men’s #1 Throws
What does this award mean to you: Recognition from your peers is always fun to get. However, now I will have to up my game to measure up to it.
What were your highlights of 2017: Starting in November 2016 through 2017, winning the shot and discus at WMAs in Perth, Australia and Daegu, South Korea; WMG in Auckland, New Zealand, USATF in Baton Rouge; National Senior Games in Birmingham; and WMA Regional in Toronto. My best run.
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do: I still do a little coaching and serve as a referee at the Arcadia HS Invitational (or whatever Christel Donley tells me to do even though she would deny it) and the Nevada State Meet in the even years when it is in the North,
What are your hobbies: Woodworking, travel, all things Lake Tahoe.
What did / do you for a living: I retired in 1999 from coaching and teaching. Math at the high school level. Biomechanics and research methods at the college level. Track and field. Last 20 years at Occidental. I also did property development and built houses in my off time and completed my last project other than a house for us in 2005.
Where did you grow up andgo to school: I grew up in Arcadia, CA, went toArcadia High School, Occidental College (undergrad), and Trinity University (graduate).
What else is interesting about you: I win a lot of meets on my last throw. I seem to put myself in a hole way too much.
Mary Thomas (W73), AUS – Women’s #1 Throws
What does this award mean to you: It is the highlight of my 60yrs of throwing. I am very shocked and it is a privilege to receive it.
What were your highlights of 2017: Winning 5 Gold Medals @ the WMA Indoors in Daegu (South Korea) & 5 Gold & 1 Silver @ the WMGames in Auckland NZ.
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do: I play Pennant Lawn Bowls & swim in a Ladies Swimming Club.
What are your hobbies: Fishing & going Camping with our Motorhome Club.
What did / do you for a living: I was a Bread Carter & delivered to homes & Shops my run was 170km a day for 12yrs,then I was a Store Person In Catering @ a Public Hospital for 24yrs.
Where did you grow up: I was born in New Zealand & came to Wollongong (Australia) when I was 3yrs old & have lived in the same house my Father built for 70yrs.
Where did you go to school: I went to a small Catholic Primary School St Brigids which was a House. I then went to Smith’s Hill Girls High School which was an all girls School & we had one male teacher who took us for sport & that is were I started my career in Throwing 1958.
What else is interesting about you: I am known as the Bionic Women because I have had so many of my Joint Replaced & set off alarms when I go through the Airport. I have also been called Monica Sellas of Athletics because of my loud grunt when throwing.
Oleg Fedorko (M62), UKR – Men’s #1 Jumps
Read New World Record
What does this award mean to you: This award for me is a result of daily work done to popularize veteran sport
What were your highlights of 2017: At the World Indoor Championship in Korea on March of 2017, I broke the world high jump record which was set 14 years ago 174cm then set World Record on December in Kiev – 175cm and World Record on January 2018 in Minsk – 176cm
What are your hobbies: My hobbies are underwater hunting and fishing, that’s what I do other than athletics
What did / do you for a living: I’m a dentist, maxillofacial surgeon, now retired
Where did you go to school: I grew up and finished school in Ukraine, Lokhvitsa town, Poltava region.
Akiko Ohinata (W65), JPN – Women’s #1 Jumps
What does this award mean to you: It is an incredible honor.I competed in an athletic meet for the first time 27 years ago and everyday since has been my challenge.I kept training to enjoy athlete life as long as I can and I wanted to make my personal record even if by 1cm.
What were your highlights of 2017: setting the W65 Triple Jump World record at WMA Indoor Championships in Daegu.
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do: I enjoy only Athletics!
What are your hobbies: I like gardening especially growing vegetables.
What did / do you for a living: I have been working for Japanese government.
Where did you grow up: Matsumoto city of Nagano pre.
Where did you go to school: Department Physical Education of Nihon University (College of Humanity and Sciences) in Tokyo
What else is interesting about you: I like Sports spectating.
Jeferson Souza (M42), USA – Men’s #1 Combined Events
What does this award mean to you: I am surprised! I keep competing in our sport because of the joy inspiring people brings me.
Many people follow me and that is much more rewarding than anything else in our sport. I want to inspire and motivate others. I hope to pass on my experiences and what I’ve learned to kids continue to inspire them.
We, Masters Athletes, are not in top form, have injuries and other challenges that we need to overcome an keep going. We need to share our experiences so other, less experienced athletes know their experiences are not unusual.
What were your highlights of 2017: Winning a World Championship and setting an American Record. Also, competing in 17 events (including individual pentathlon events) winning medals in all 12 medal eligible events. Being recognized as the USATF Combined Events AoY and USATF Age Group AoY.
What else is interesting about you: I am self motivated. Started talking to youth athletes in 2008 when the stock market crashed and as a result, became hooked on masters athletics. I am grateful to God, USATF and all the others who keep our sport alive. I would also like to start a blog to share experiences, show kids what they do in sports translates to life.
Checa Eseribano (W58), ESP – Women’s #1 Combined Events
What does this award mean to you: I’m very thankful for the recognition. It’s always nice to have some award. We put so much effort in training to achieve our goals despite our age. I’m very happy!
What were your highlights of 2017: Earning 4 medals in the WMA Championships in Daegu (South Korea).
What are your hobbies: Reading books and going to the cinema.
What did / do you for a living: I’m a post woman working for the Spanish state in a town near where I live.
Where did you grow up: I grew up between Girona (Catalonia, Spain) and Valencia (Spain), until I finished my degree in the Valencia University, then i come back to Girona to stay here for the rest of my life until now.
Where did you go to school: In Valencia, from high school until the University, i studied for high school teacher.
What else is interesting about you: Before doing athletics, I played handball at a very high level. But when i come to Girona again i started track and field. Practicing athletics I met my husband. Now my two sons do athletics to, like my husband and I. The older one, Tamara does combined events, and the youngest one, Victor, does the triple jump, both of them are on the top 3 of his age in Spain.
Heather Carr (W67), AUS – Women’s #1 Race Walks
It was indeed an honour and a privilege to be awarded the ‘Walks category for the 2017 WMA Awards.
I will attempt to illuminate what this award means to me by firstly recognising the abilities and strengths of all walkers from Australia and every other country that is involved with WMA.
We, in Australia, are extremely fortunate to have top quality and high calibre racewalking athletes, from Juniors through Seniors then to Masters. Our racewalking fraternity is very cohesive, supportive and collaborative with strong networking. Exceptional coaches are available to assist athletes and give their time willingly, training athletes with advice and knowledge gained from years of experience. Of course we wouldn’t be able to achieve anything without all the officials who spend so much of their time assisting and contributing to racewalking.
Secondly, this award is one that I am particularly proud of. I worked extremely hard with a particular goal in mind. I was particularly focused; it paid off with my success in breaking the W65 3km indoor world record that had stood for many years. That indeed was my highlight for 2017!
My ‘other’ life? I am now retired, but for many decades was a Kindergarten Teacher, teaching children from 3 years to 5 years. A most enjoyable occupation.
My hobbies include reading, watching new release movies and caring for my 7 grandchildren. I also relish travelling, and of course with WMA, this opportunity comes around regularly, even more so now, with so many competitions available both in Australia and overseas.
I was born in Warragul, a rural town in Victoria, Australia. Always loved being outdoors, being active, enjoying clean, pristine air and fresh food. We were very lucky indeed to grow up in the era we did.
Our family moved then to another rural town, Avoca, where I spent my primary years at school. I finished off my secondary education at Castlemaine High School, in the centre of Victoria’s gold mining region. Then I moved to Melbourne where I completed my training as a kindergarten or pre-school teacher. After marriage followed 4 children, living on a farm where beef cattle were raised. Then I discovered racewalking through my children’s involvement in Little Athletics. Well, that started off a whole new interest, and I’ve been smitten now for over 30 years! I began my international competition in 1987 when the World Veterans Athletic Championships were held in Melbourne. How fortunate was I to find my niche at the ripe old age of 38! Previously I had played a lot of team sports, e.g. hockey, softball prior to athletics, but racewalking was the one that really ‘got’ me!
My husband, Bill, is an athlete; a sprinter, so our training is vastly different from one anthers, but athletics is the ‘glue’ that binds us together. We love travelling to new and exciting places, being able to experience different cultures and languages. Lastly, but most importantly is our group of close and connected friends who hold similar values and attitudes to life as we do. We are indeed very fortunate to be a part of WMA and all the benefits it brings.
Hiroo Tanaka (M85), JPN – Men’s #2 Sprints
What does this award mean to you: I got recognition from Asia masters athletic but it is first time for me from WMA and I am very proud of it.
What were your highlights of 2017: I run 60m and 200m of World Masters Athletics Championships indoor at Daegu and made new world record of them.
I was happy set two new record at my first indoor race.
What else, other than Athletics, do you do: Walking, ski marathon and mountain climbing.
What are your hobbies: I used to play Go and Mah-Jong.
What did / do you for a living: I was a teacher of elementally school by retiring and I am the secretariat of the symposium of retired teachers in Aomori.
Where did you grow up and go to school: Aomori-city & Aomori high school
What else is interesting about you: I would like to challenge swimming in future.
Julie Brims (W51), AUS – Women’s #2 Sprints
I was so excited with my nomination by Oceana Masters. In 2015 I was not in a position to run at all and only dreamed of one day getting back on the track. I could never have imagined I would place so high in World Masters Athletics for the Female Sprint Award 2017, coming in behind the legendary Carol LaFayette-Boyd! What an honor and absolute thrill to receive such an accolade as this! I’m still pinching myself this is real!!
I grew up in a small country town of Maryborough, Queensland. I’m the youngest of five girls, my identical twin Jan, being 20 minutes older! I had a go at athletics for two seasons when I was 12 years old but my predominant sport was Basketball where I played in the ABA league for Brisbane Spartans.After my two children were born I wanted to get some fitness back so I decided to become a Basketball Referee which I ended up on the ABL panel, then I thought I needed to get fitter for Referring so I started doing athletics with my children. At one of the pre-season fitness tests for the NBL referees, the men and women were all doing the beep test together, one by one the 20 yo men dropped off to where it just myself continuing on, the men became embarrassed and ended up turning the machine off to stop me from running!!
After this I decided Athletics would be more rewarding on a personal level so I made the change to athletics.
The most memorable moment in 2017 I would have to say was winning the World Masters Indoor 200m in Daegu!I had the opportunity to race against the World 200m Indoor Record holder, Maryvonne Icarre who ran in my pocket the whole way! This was the first time I had ever run on a banked track and I cant wait to experience this again in Torun, Poland in 2019.
In my spare time from working in Micropropagation, I enjoy shopping, Jigsaw puzzles and training of course. I’m looking forward to the next World Championships in Malaga, Spain.
Paul Osland (M53), CAN – Men’s #2 Middle Distance
What does this award mean to you:It is a huge honor to be included in such an esteemed group of athletes, even if only as a runner-up
What were your highlights of 2017: My biggest highlight in 2017 was winning double Gold in the 800 & 1500m events at the Daegu World Indoor Championships
What else, other than Track & Field, do you do: Not much ? In addition to training, I also coach a large masters group at the University of Toronto Track Club, I am the President of Canadian Masters Athletics, working on the LOC for the WMA Toronto 2020 World Championships
What are your hobbies:Running and reading, when I can find the time!
What did / do you for a living:I am transitioning, at the end of March from my role as the Vice President of Industry Relations for GS1 Canada (a Non-profit Industry standards organization part of the GS1 Global organization) to the CEO of Athletics Ontario (the Provincial Sports Organization responsible for managing the sport of Athletics in the Province of Canada)
Where did you grow up: Vancouver BC, Ottawa Ontario, Toronto Ontario
Where did you go to school: Elementary School in Vancouver, High School in Ottawa and University in Toronto
What else is interesting about you: I am part of a 100 X 1 Mile relay team that broke the Guinness Book of World records set in 1998 (7:35:55.4)
Lavinia Petrie (W73), AUS – Women’s #2 Middle Distance
Lavinia won 800m, 1500m and 3000m at the WMA Indoor Championship. Her 3000m win was in World Record time.
Sergey Polikarpov (M55), KAZ – Men’s #2 Long Distance
Sergey had decisive 1500m and 5000m wins at the WMA Asia Championships.
Yoko Nakano (W80), JPN – Women’s #2 Long Distance
In 2017, Yoko added 3000m, 5000m, 10000m and Marathon to her World Record collection!
Takumi Matsushima (M85), BRA – Men’s #2 Throws
Takumi turned 85 in 2017 and won Shot Put, Discus, Hammer, Javelin and Weightat the Campeonato Sudamericano de Atletismo Master in Santiago, Chile. Each were South American records.
Marcela Barrientos (W52), CHI – Women’s #2 Throws
Marcela won Shot Put, Discus, Weight and High Jump at the Campeonato Sudamericano de Atletismo Master in Santiago, Chile.
Washington Flores (M92), URU – Men’s #2 Jumps
Que significa este premio para ti? (What does this awards mean to you?)Es la comprobacion del trabajo que hago. (It’s the checking of the work that I do.)
Cuales fueron tus mejores momentos en 2017? (What were your highlights of 2017?) En el Sudamericano de Chile. (The South American Tournament in Chile.)
Que otra cosa haces aparte de practicar atletismo? (What else, other tan Athletics, do you do?) Soy jubilado, con 92 anos estoy para esto nomas. (Im retired, Im only for this activity with 92 years.)
Que hobbies tienes? (What are your hobbies? Leer. (Read.)
A que te dedicas? (What did/do you for a living?) Fui bombero y jugador de futbol en River de Montevideo. (I was a firefighten and football player in River team from Montevideo.)
Donde creciste? (Where did you grow up?) En Termas del Arapey, departamento de Salto. (I grew up in Termas del Arapey, Salto Department.)
Donde fuiste a la escuela? (Where did you go to school?) Alli mismo, fui a la Escuela Rural No 58. (I went there, in Rural School No 58.)
Que mas es de interes o te gusta a ti? (What else is interesting about you?) Me gusta todo el deporte en general. (I like all sports in general.)
Geoff Gibbons (M40), AUS – Men’s #2 Combined Events
My highlights from 2017 were: Winning the world double decathlon title in Belgium in August with the 2nd highest score ever recorded in the M40 age group.
Winning the decathlon at the World Masters Games in Auckland in April.
Setting a new Australian decathlon record in winning the Australian Championship in January.
Setting a new Australian indoor pentathlon record in finishing second at the WMA Indoor Champs in Daegu in March.
Of interest, I am taking a year off multi events to run a half marathon and recently ran 36.34 for 10k on the road. My next major decathlon will be Toronto in 2020.
Rita Hanscom (W63), USA – Women’s #2 Combined Events
What does this award mean to you: Its a privilege to be recognized by WMA and be included with so many talented masters athletes.
What were your highlights of 2017: Attending the regional NCCWMA meet in Toronto, getting the current Olympic uniform, and being part of our awesome American team. I will never forget that. My performances were forgettable. But that experience was extremely memorable.
What else, other than Athletics, do you do: Surfing, bike riding, hiking, walking the dog.
What are your hobbies: I build custom furniture in my home wood shop. I belong to the San Diego Fine Woodworking Association. I also enjoy visiting the national parks in my camper van.
What did / do you for a living: Im currently a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California. I prosecute health care fraud.
Where did you grow up: Tempe, Arizona
Where did you go to school: University of Hawaii and Boston College Law School.
What else is interesting about you: I can still ride a unicycle. I learned as a child.
Normunds Ivzans (M45), LAT – Men’s #2 Race Walks
What does this award mean to you:Target for young athletes it is Olympic Games, for masters – to be the best in WMA and EMA Championships. For me is sport all my life: being among athletes, being in movement. It is the highest award for me, for my invested work. I’m very, very positive impressed.
What were your highlights of 2017:It was my success in World Masters Championship and European Masters Championship!! And first of all my highlights are following: all three my children are in official National team of Latvia!
What else, other than Athletics, do you do:I do everything what are doing my three children: Football, Tennis, Athletics. There are no free weekends, because all the time are games or competitions!
What are your hobbies:My hobby is fishing, when I don’t have training’s or competitions! For example, I have a record in fishing in Latvia’s fourth biggest lake (Lake Burtnieku), I have caught the heaviest pike there – 17,6 kg. It was in 2012. I like nature and of course – athletics!
What did / do you for a living: I’m responsible (in my job) for purchasing processes of milk in concern “Preilu Siers”. And of course – my family, children!
Where did you grow up: My childhood was spent in Latvia’s countryside – Pustinka, district of Rezekne. My parents were all the time in job, therefore I was all the time with my grand-mama!
Where did you go to school: My first school was elementary school in Galeni and high school in Murjani – sports school.
What else is interesting about you:I’m really love sweets! I like cooking. I’m always happy to welcome guests to my home!
Rosmary Pelaez (W61), COL – Women’s #2 Race Walks
Rosmary’s accomplishments this year included winning 5000m and 10000m Race Walk at the Campeonato Sudamericano de Atletismo Master in Santiago, Chile