Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mccants, 78, Still Throwing Spirals as Athletes Don't Act Their Age

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mccants, 78, Still Throwing Spirals as Athletes Don't Act Their Age

Article excerpt

When Libby McCants of Ballwin was a girl, she tuned up her throwing arm by pitching to her high school baseball team. The boys couldn't touch her in a real game.

"They wouldn't let us play," McCants said, "us" meaning girls.

On Sunday, the arm of McCants, 78, earned her 30 points in the football throw for accuracy contest in the first day of the St. Louis Senior Olympics at the Jewish Community Centers Association.

McCants zinged spirals from seven feet (worth 10 points) and from 11 feet (20 points) through a circle in a board. Her point total probably was not enough to medal, as she has many times before. Still, it's not bad for a woman who bears a thigh-long scar from surgery in November.

"Back fighting again!" the white-haired Senior Olympian cried out after her second spiral.

Being fit and fighting when you're well past 50 was the battle cry of these 16th annual Games.

More than 1,400 men and women, age 55 to 93, will compete through Wednesday in the event. The athletes from 20 states, will compete in more than 60 events.

As steering committee chairperson Elaine Skor said during opening ceremonies: "Each of you is a winner, whether or not you wear a medal home."

Football Hall-of-Famer Jackie Smith, who plans to compete next year in the event, admired the athletes who have competed in all 16 St. Louis Senior Olympics. Smith is a new member of the event's honorary advisory committee.

"Do you think they're having fun?" Smith said as the firetrucks rolled by, carrying the 16-year veterans. "Not one of them is thinking that they're 65 years old right now. I admire that spirit."

Ollie Klosterman, 74, threw a football sidearm rather than stay on the sidelines. Klosterman has medaled in the event but scored nary a point Sunday. Pride put him in the contest, despite a torn rotator cuff. "I just want to play," he said. …

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