Dashiell earns gold, silver at National Sr. Olympics
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Mrs. Wally Dashiell, 93, of Stevensville, returned from the National Senior Olympics, this year held in Birmingham, Alabama, bringing home two gold medals and two silver medals from the four events she entered. In one of the events, the hammer throw, Dashiell broke her own U.S. Olympic record she set in the Sr. Games in 2013. Her former record was 37 feet. She threw 38 feet 6 inches in Birmingham. The person with the second best hammer throw is Ann McGowan, of Rhode Island, in 2015 with a distant 21 feet 4 inches, far behind Dashiell’s national record.
Dashiell’s other gold medal came in discus, with silvers in shot put and javelin.
This was the first time Dashiell has been to the National Senior Olympics since 2011, when the games were held in Houston, Texas. She missed the games in 2013 in Cleveland and 2015 in Minneapolis as she was recovering from, first, knee replacement surgery in 2013, and hip replacement in 2015. Before those surgeries, Dashiell had never missed a Sr. Olympics.
This year was the 30th anniversary of the National Senior Olympics in the U.S. The national games are held every other year in the U.S. The next national games are scheduled for 2019 to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Under doctor’s orders, Dashiell is now limited to these four field events in track and field.
“The doctor told me he was crazy for operating on me at my age to begin with, and he’s not going to operate in me again,” Dashiell said. “So, I can’t afford to mess up my new knee or new hip. They’ve got to last!”
Before the surgeries, Dashiell was a complete track and field competitor, doing almost everything — dashes, distance running, long and triple jumps and high jump. Those events are now prohibited.
She said, “I love doing what I can still do, especially the hammer throw!”
For the past three National Sr. Olympics, the Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, in Stevensville, voted to sponsor Dashiell’s costs to go the games. Being unable to go to past two national games, she was not able to accept the Elks generous offers, however, this year she did. Through the Elks 501(c)3 organization, they were able to pay for Dashiell’s entry fees, transportation to and from the games, and accommodations while in Birmingham.
Upon receiving the sponsorship, Dashiell remarked, “The Elks are a great organization, especially here on Kent Island. They do more to help the community than most people realize.”
Dashiell’s late husband George served as secretary for the KI Elks for more than a decade. “There were times he seemed to be more at the Elks lodge than he was at home,” she told current KI Exalted Ruler Angela Meyer, who replied, “I know that’s the truth!”
Wearing her four National Sr. Olympics medals, two gold and two silver, Wally Dashiell, 93, right, is recognized by Kent Island Elks, Lodge 2576, Exalted Ruler Angela Meyer, Tuesday, July 4, during the Children’s Free Fishing Derby. Dashiell was also presented a Wheaties “Breakfast of Champions” cereal box with her picture on it. Dashiell set a new U.S. Sr. Olympics record in the Hammer Throw, breaking her own record, which is now over 38 feet. The KI Elks sponsored Dashiell’s trip to the Sr. Olympics this past June.