Hitting the bullseye at 96…
Charlie Edwards is a decorated WWII veteran and a former Navy fighter pilot, but his newest hobby earned him a gold medal at the 2015 National Senior Games. Although he didn’t pick up his first bow and arrow until the age of 92, he became a champion archer just four years later at the age of 96.
Edwards was riding the elevator at his retirement community in Springfield, Virginia when he met a man carrying what he called an “interesting-looking package”. When he learned the package held a bow and arrows, he was interested, although he’d never tried archery before. After he gave it a shot, he was hooked, and he found himself traveling to nearby Fort Belvoir every week to practice at their indoor and outdoor archery ranges.
Less than a year later, Charlie started entering archery competitions. Soon after, he entered in the 2013 National Senior Games, where he competed in the 90-94 age group. Although he was disappointed with his bronze-medal finish, the experience inspired him to continue practicing and competing.
Two years later in 2015, Charlie once again entered the National Senior Games, this time competing in the 95-99 age group. Despite being the only competitor in his age group, he’s proud to have completed the competition successfully, earning his gold medal.
Edwards says his next goal is to compete in the 100-104 age group, which would mean returning to competition at the 2019 National Senior Games. “I love it. I have fun with it,” he’s quoted saying. “It keeps me mostly in good shape. If I just continue, it’s gonna keep me alive.”
Charlie’s archery story is an outstanding example of #BestWithAge. Nothing should hold you back from exploring a new hobby! Take the shot!
Photo Credit: Tracey Lee
#BestWithAge A Blog Series About How the Human Spirit Shines Brightest with Time