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88-year-old hospital volunteer wins gold at Senior Olympics

L’Observateur / June 8, 1998

Clara Englade, an 88-year-old charter volunteer at the hospital, recently won three gold medals and one silver medal in the Bayou River Region Senior Olympics held April 21 and 22 at the St. Charles Recreation Centerin Hahnville.

Englade received three gold medals for discus, shot put and javelin. Shealso received a silver medal for softball, a sport which involves throwing a ball through a ring to measure one’s accuracy.

She will compete in the State Senior Olympics in October at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and is hoping to continue in the National Competition which will be held next year in Orlando, Florida.

An avid competitor, Englade has participated in the Senior Olympics since they were first held in Louisiana in 1984.

“I like the competition and being able to meet all of the participants,” Englade said. “It’s like a reunion of friends, we laugh and joke with eachother. It’s not whether you win or lose but that you enjoy it.”Englade said that her favorite event is the long jump, and she was disappointed that it was not available this year. When asked why she likedthis event so much, she said that she used to jump a ditch behind her house with her children when they were young. And, she said she neverworries about getting hurt because “how can you get hurt in a pile of sand?” In her first Senior Olympics competition, she received a gold medal for jumping eight feet. She has also been in the National Olympics three timesand has won one silver medal and two ribbons for the long jump.

Volunteering at the hospital has aided in her training for the olympics. Shesaid lifting boxes in Materials Management, as well as raking leaves at home, has made her stronger. Harry Charity described her as “his angel.”He said, “there is nothing she can’t do!” When she is not volunteering at the hospital, Englade said she likes to keep busy. “I never sit down without something in my hands. I like to keepgoing,” she said.

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