The Pasadena Senior Center is famed for its annual Senior Games at Cal Tech, a qualifier for the National Senior Games. But in these Pandemic Times, it’s organizing Zoom talks with famed athletes. On Jan. 11, three current or former masters track stars are featured in a panel discussion and Q&A.
You might have heard of Dick Fosbury and Willie Banks. The Flop creator once jumped in masters, the Rhythmic Clap inventor still does. And Linda Cohn? She has something the first two don’t — a pair of world masters age-group records. (In the W60 and W65 javelin.)
In the new (and free) Cynthia Rosedale Memorial Sports Talk Series, the trio will take questions at 4 p.m. (Pacific) Monday, Jan. 11. (Cynthia helped our friend Christel Donley put on the Pasadena meet.) Register here.But I had a question. How does Linda feel about teaming with an Olympic champ and former open world-record holder?
I wrote her on New Year’s Day, and she graciously filled me in.
Linda says was contacted in early December by Annie Lasky, Senior Center director of events for the Pasadena.
“She told me that they were planning on having a program that would be relatively informal, and would take place ‘live’ on Zoom with an audience,” Linda said. “Annie said that the idea is to give tips on how to keep mentally and physically fit during COVID, and to offer insight on sports and Senior Games to seniors interested in competing for the first time.”
Linda concedes she’s not in the same legendary class as Dick and Willie, but thinks she was included so the panel could have a “normal” person who loves taking part in the games and encourage others to do so.
“I have seen Annie many times at the Pasadena Senior Games, and she said that she had noticed in the past the way I interacted with and helped other athletes,” Linda said. “We all do that, though, especially in the field events. It’s one of the things that makes the Senior Games so much fun.”
Linda was hesitant to join the panel, especially when she learned the names of the others. “But it has always been my goal to make people aware of Senior Olympics, and if I can encourage more people to actually sign up and participate in the Senior Games, I am happy to do so,” she told me.
I am really glad that the Pasadena Senior Center decided to do this program because it is a way to stay connected with our fellow athletes. It is very important that we do not lose our enthusiasm for these Games. We have all had a lot of time off this past year, and it is vital for all athletes, but especially seniors, that we continue to work to stay in shape. I know that for me it is always more motivating to exercise if I am “in training” for something. We do not know when we will have the opportunity to compete in our next track meet, but now is the time to start preparing for it.
I wanted to spend this “off year” training in the hopes of improving my technique with the javelin. I may be overly optimistic, but I still like to think that I haven’t had my best throw yet. Finding a place to train has been challenging, but I’m hoping that when I do have the opportunity to throw from a real runway (without gopher holes) that all of my practicing will pay off.
Linda’s plans for 2021 competition are about as “up in the air” as everyone else’s, she said.
“I am looking forward to attending as many meets as possible, and I would really like to go to [Sacramento] Masters Outdoor Nationals and [Fort Lauderdale] nationals for Senior Olympics,” said the favorite to win every meet she enters.
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