Tallahassee resident places in Senior Olympic Games
June 19, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The 82-year-old Tallahassee man who had been training for the 2017 Senior Olympic Games is returning home with a medal.
Rodney Letchworth participated in the 2017 Senior Games last week in Birmingham, Alabama.
In a crowded field, Rodney placed 2nd in the discus throw, with a distance of 29.2 meters, receiving the silver medal.
He also placed 8th in the shot-put with a distance of 9.71 meters.
When we spoke to Rodney in May, he said of the competition, "It makes me feel more alive. It gets me out of the easy chair."
May 10, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Throwing shot-put in the middle of Tom Brown Park isn't exactly what you'd expect from an 82-year-old!
"It makes me feel more alive. It gets me out of the easy chair," said Rodney Letchworth.
But he isn't your average senior, and he's not your average athlete.
He's an Olympian.
"Well I like to win. I don't always win, but it’s fun when you do."
Rodney is gearing up to compete in the national Senior Olympics next month in Birmingham for shot-put and discus.
The Tallahassee native has a background in both, tracking back to his days in high school.
However, after joining the Marines, that track was put on pause until 20 years ago, when friends suggested he give it a try.
"She said what you can do. I said well I was on the track team in high school. Then she said oh wow.' what did you do." I said I threw the shot-put and discus."
After placing first in the 1998 state competition, Rodney went on to nationals in Orlando.
"So best I could do was fourth place. But I was real proud to get fourth place."
Since then, he continues to win, getting gold in 3 other state competitions, but this year he's hoping to snag a national title.
“So I got a little incentive this year to work a little harder. I got a good chance to really get a medal at the nationals."
But it's not all about the gold. Rodney said his competitors make it worthwhile because they push him to keep going.
"I’ve seen people 105 out there competing in races. If you hesitate, look, observe and be up in the stands watching and never get on the field, you're missing a whole lot.”
And with each throw, he hopes to encourage others to do the same.