"Out with the Old, In with the Newsom" July 2017 Athlete of the Month

HUMANA Hero: Wanda Newsom, 77, Taylor, Texas

Birthdays seem to bring extra luck for Wanda Newsom. She won her first archery gold medal at the 2005 National Senior Games on her 65th birthday, and by happy coincidence, she earned another gold as the Texan celebrated her 77th birthday at the 2017 National Senior Games presented by Humana in Birmingham.

“It was also my 7th National games, and I won my 7th Senior Games medal as I turned 77. I should have bought a lotto ticket,” she quips.

Surrounded by her longtime competitors, Wanda warmly talks about the people she has met and the friendships forged during her participation in The Games.  “Archery is my thing,” Wanda says, beaming. “It’s what I love to do. I would love to live forever for these moments.”

Wanda has overcome multiple obstacles in her life. In 2001, she unexpectedly lost her husband to a heart attack. Soon after, Wanda’s son encouraged her to get out her compound bow and start shooting again. Wanda embraced her husband’s love for fishing and hunting, and continued the tradition with her sons. What began as a bonding experience turned into a passion for her new sport.

“I can test myself,” Wanda says. “I enjoy seeing whether I can hit the bullseye.”

Six weeks before the 2013 Games, Wanda was in an auto accident that left her with a cracked sternum.

Miraculously, she went on to compete but quickly realized it was time to adjust her style. The road to recovery hasn’t been easy, but she is determined to continue the sport that she loves.

“I wasn’t about to quit,” she recalls in a determined tone.

Wanda now shoots with the Genius GenX bow, which makes it easier for her to pull. She proudly displays her bow, brightly designed in six different colors. She even has tennis shoes to match. She also threw the discus in Birmingham. She is a member of the Texas Throwers, and is an ambassador for Huntsman World Senior Games, but archery has captured her heart.  

“I’ll keep doing it until the day I die,” she says confidently. “I encourage everyone to do it.”


 By Caroline Watt and Del Moon

The Long Run - July 2017
142 Records Set at 2017 National Senior Games pres...
13 March 2018
Personal Best Featured Athletes
Cathy Cornell, 62, Bakersfield, California We all have challenges to face. The many senior athletes we have profiled in this program have en...
13 March 2018
Athlete of the Month
Darcy McBride, 66, York, Nebraska Darcy McBride has more than 6,000 blessings to count. The Nebraska native retired from a 28-year physical ...
13 February 2018
News and Events
Press Releases
Every year, the National Senior Games Association (NSGA) hosts an Annual Conference for its Member Games, partners, and vendors.  With the 2...
12 February 2018
Athlete of the Month
Rod McGregor, 61, Hudson, Ohio There’s a saying that “children give you a second chance at life.” Rod McGregor agrees, since he was inspired...