There are all manner of stories from the World Masters Track
and Field Championships. They opened today at Sacramento
The first group of competitors I encountered was a race
walking team from Bolivia.
Esther Cabrera's (she is on the far left in the picture) race
walking is quite a bit better than my Spanish, but my Spanish
was good enough to find out she and her teammates are enjoying
Sacramento very much.
CABRERA: "It's wonderful."
The Bolivian team makes up four of
the 4800 competitors from 93 countries. Each
discipline is broken up into five-year age categories.
Two dozen competitors, like Willie Banks and Al Joyner, are
former world or Olympic champions. Duane Holmes is not a
former champion, but he does embody the competitive spirit, perhaps
even more than most. When asked why he was participating in
his first decathalon this year, at the age of 60.
"It's on my bucket list," Then, he laughed."
I said, "Well, there you go, I guess you can cross it
And that's when I learned that this is a man here to compete,
though the results of his efforts are really very, very
He laughed again and said, "I have advanced prostate
cancer. So, I thought, 'Well, let's see if we can get
this in and see if we can do it.'"
He is indeed doing it and lifting the spirits of those around
him. It is an understatement, perhaps to say he is an
easy competitor to root for.
The events and games last until July 17, with 80 percent of
them happening at Hornet Stadium.