Still competing after all these (85) years

Ed Curtis has been participating in the state games for about 27 years.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:05 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 11, 2008
Ed Curtis, 85, poses in his yard with a shot that he practices with between competitions on Tuesday in Columbia. In the 27 years he’s been competing, he has won numerous medals. “When you have some degree of sucess, you keep on going,” he said.

A basketball goal hangs outside the house. Inside there are weights, an exercise mat lies on the floor, and a display stand full of medals.

However, the garage contains the more interesting exercise equipment.

Inside the garage there is a propped-up mattress with a bit of blue paint on the middle that Ed Curtis, 85, of Columbia uses to keep his arm in shape and practice his discus and shot-put throwing accuracy. Curtis has been competing in both the Missouri and Kansas state senior games for about 27 years. He has won numerous gold medals along with too many silver and bronze to count.

“When you have some degree of success,” said Curtis, “you keep on going.”

Curtis got his start in 1980 when Kansas City started hosting the Senior Olympics. He will compete in this year’s Missouri State Senior Games, which begin Thursday in Columbia.

“I just thought it would be interesting to do it,” said Curtis.

Curtis can also boast of his two All-American Masters Track and Field from 2002 in both the javelin throw and the discus with distances of 68’11” and 79’10” respectively.

Curtis competed in the 2004 World Senior Olympics in St. George, Utah returning home with a gold medal in the discus. Which is not surprising considering, “throwing discus is what I most enjoy and am what confident in.”

It’s even more surprising that Curtis, a graduate of a 44-member class of Smithton High School in Smithton, MO competes in track and field at all.

Growing up, his high school did not have a track or field for the team to practice on. The coach eventually took a tractor and blade to a part of the schoolyard and scraped a circular track for the team to use for practice.

However 50 or so years later Curtis is registered to compete in the 100 meters, 200 meters, discus, javelin throw, shot put and horseshoes for this year’s Missouri State Senior games. Curtis continues returning to the games held here in Columbia for many reasons.

He likes the competition. He likes to stay active and in good condition.

But also, as Curtis said, “I have formed quite a number of good friendships.”

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