"On Top of The World" August 2017 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Hero: Curt Davison, 92, Kirkwood, Missouri

Curt Davison is not known to throw his weight around, other than on the field of play at Senior Games. But when he does, he really lets it fly, and it has landed him in the record books. After 35 years in Senior Games, he now holds a world record.

The 92-year-old from Kirkwood, Missouri participates in multiple running and field events, and at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham, his hammer throw of 25.28 meters was the longest ever recorded anywhere for a man his age. The previous world record was 24.11 set in 2005 by Australian John Fraser.

“The hammer was the last field event I took up- it was just like five years ago,” he says in a tone of mixed pride and disbelief. “I didn’t think I was that good to compete with all the top guys. This is the ultimate.”

Curt realized he was pretty good with the throwing implement when his hurl at the 2015 Games in Minnesota perched him at #1 in NSGA’s Top Ten Performances in the 90-94 hammer throw category. “I also threw it over 26 meters In the Missouri Senior Games last year. So, I figured I had a shot at the record.” Over the years, he has amassed a wagon load of local and state records, plus a total of five National Senior Games top performances in various events.

Not bad for a guy who grew up in The Depression and had to work instead of pursuing sports. Curt answered his country’s call to serve in the Navy in World War II, and then pursued a career as an advertising creative director. His work, and the time needed to raise five children, kept him busy until midlife. “I started competitively at 50, doing 5K and 10K road races in the St. Louis Senior Olympics,” he recalls. “I liked the competition. You meet a lot of nice people.”

Curt also enjoyed swimming against his age peers early on, but soon found that it was too much with a dozen running and field events he wanted to keep up with. In 1987, he was of age to enter the first National Senior Games in his St. Louis hometown, and he eagerly jumped in. He has only missed a few over the years, which was due to his freelance work in retirement. “One year, I was in Casablanca, Morocco writing and producing a commercial for a company there. On another year I was in Amman, Jordan working for the minister of tourism redesigning all of their tourism materials,” he explains. “Unfortunately, the Gulf War came along and we were rushed out of the country. They didn’t need any travel stuff at that point.”

He also emphasizes that his sporting life had a purpose beyond competition. “I wanted to stay in shape, and you have to work out to remain competitive.” Curt still exercises or trains five days a week and has no plans to stop. “I’m not too old because I know the secret: Just don’t stop. As soon as you stop, you’re finished.”

The Long Run - August 2017
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