Dashiell earns gold, sil­ver at Na­tional Sr. Olympics

Record Observer - - News - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

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!”

PHOTO BY DOUG BISHOP

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.

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