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David Hostetler of Mt. Holly rakes in medals at National Senior Olympics

Jul 18, 2019 01:20PM

David Hostetler of Mt. Holly with the medals we won at the National Senior Olympics in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hostetler is also a veteran participant and medal winner in the Gaston County and NC State Senior Games. Photo by Alan Hodge

by Alan Hodge

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Mt. Holly athlete David Hostetler, 85, recently took part in the National Senior Olympics held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. By the time the games were over, Hostetler returned home with a chest full of medals and lots of great memories.

“I played archery on June 14, 15, and 16 with the best in the USA,” Hostetler said. “We had winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 60mph. Then we got rain and lightning and that stopped the flying arrows.”

Hosteler says the weather improved for the second and third days of the archery competitions.

“I got a pat on the back from my brother Conrad from  Florida and later another pat from the National Discus champion Bill Gramley from North Carolina. I won the Bronze medal. It was my first ever medal in archery.”

June 17 saw Hosteler grab his badminton racket and take to the court.

“I didn’t have any slide socks, skid shoes, racquet with special strings, sunblock hat or  sunblock clothes,” he said. “Single play began on June 18. Competition consisted of eight players my age. We played Round Robin. Each person  must play every player. Whoever accumulates the most wins gets the Gold. When play ended my final score was eight wins and no losses. Surprisingly I got the Gold thanks to my coach Terry Martin.”

Badminton play resumed on June 19 and 20.

“The mixed doubles and men’s doubles matches were long lasting,” said Hostetler. “Many were decided in overtime. It was hot. We took long time outs. We had fun and laughter. When the badminton games ended we went to the podium for medals, photos, and celebration. I was awarded Gold in Badminton Singles, Gold in Badminton Men’s Doubles,  and Bronze in Mixed Doubles and Bronze in Archery.”

After all the exertion, Hostetler says he kicked back and did some sightseeing.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the games,” he said. “So to celebrate, my brother Conrad and I took a night train to Santa Fe and got a look at the New Mexico capital.”