She never stops it seems, and at 83, it’s a safe bet Hildegard Buschhaus would still give the energizer bunny a run for his money.
Oceanside’s most decorated elderly athlete added 10 more medals to her collection after capturing six gold, one silver and three bronze in Track & Field at the recent 2011 BC Seniors Games.
The Kootenay’s marked Hildy’s 17th consecutive Sr.’s Games — she started her assault on the big annual competition back in 1995 in Osoyoos when she powered her way to gold medals in the 5K and 10K Speed Walking event as well as the 800m run and a silver in 1500m.
“I was 67,” she chuckled when The News caught up with her this week.
“I’m not as strong,” she said easily when asked how she feels now physically compared to back then. “I have a little bit less air…”
Hildegard, who is part of two world record relay teams for Women’s 80-plus — one in the 4x100m and the other the 4x200m — was one of 75 Dist. 69 standouts recognized at a reception at Oceanside Place this year as part of the first annual RDN Performance Recognition Program open to athletes and dancers of all ages.
In Trail at the Seniors Games Aug. 16-20, Hildy said “there were not too many ladies in track and field from Zone 2, only three, but I was the only one that got medals.”
The BC Seniors Games is an annual, multi-sport event hosted by a different BC community each year. They are one of they largest games organized within B.C. with approximately 3,500 participants aged 55+ from all over the province.
Hildegard, who moved to Oceanside from Germany with her husband Gunter in 1974, competed in 10 track and field events at the games, from Triple Jump and the running events through to Hammer Throw.
Making her results even more impressive is that she came down with bronchitis the end of May “so I only had 10 days to train… can you imagine that,” she laughed.
The mother of three, grandmother of 12 and three time great grandma said the conditions in Trail were hot (28, 29) and dry “but there was a slight breeze.”
What keeps you going back, we asked.
“When you rest, you rust,” she said with a smile.
“This is a woman in her eighties,” marvelled longtime Oceanside track and field coach Kim Longmuir, adding that over the years Hildegard has come out to the track behind BSS and worked out with an OTFC coach.
“What an incredible role model for the youth in our track and field club,” said Longmuir. “And an ambassador for our community.”