Chuck Milliman sometimes wonders how he got pulled into doing the pole vault, then quickly acknowledges his son Phil was the high school and masters star vaulter who planted the crazy idea in his head that he could do this at an advanced age. Now 90, Chuck is inching closer to becoming the oldest to vault in the Games, and his Gold Medal-worthy jump of 4’ 7”sets him with 3rd best for the 90+ age level.
“Four feet seven? I could have done that without a pole!” Phil cracks in jest, then adds, “It’s really amazing what he can do. It gives me hope for my future at this.” Such is the nature of the good-natured banter between the two.
Phil has notched up many medals in Senior Games, and 2022 is no different, beginning with a Gold in his signature pole vault event in the M65-69 age group that measured nine feet. “I’m most excited I achieved gold in the high jump too – I was fourth last time.”
Phil may have inspired Dad to pick up a pole in addition to the running and jumping events Chuck was already enjoying in Senior Games play, but the old man is who has motivated his family and many others to stay fit for his entire life – read our 2018 Personal Best feature about the two here for more.
The two have gotten the attention of HBO Real Sports, who is at The Games this week profiling numerous athletes to tell the National Senior Games story to the world. Earlier this month, a video crew was dispatched to their hometown of Sequim, Washington to watch the pair practice in their backyard pit and to chat with correspondent Mary Carillo. The special will run mid-summer on HBO.