For Release: 6PM Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Contact: Bob Weiner, National Masters Track Media Chair
Tel. 301-283-0821, cells 202-361-0611 or 202-329-1700
FIRST "MASTERS" SULLIVAN FINALIST RASCHKER, 57, SEEKS LIFETIME FITNESS FOR AGING AMERICANS; IN TOP FIVE FOR AMERICA’S TOP AMATEUR ATHLETE, BREAKING AGE STEREOTYPE
(New York City, NY)…PHIL RASCHKER, 57, of Marietta Georgia, the first "masters" finalist for the Sullivan Award for America’s top amateur athlete, said at the award ceremony in Manhattan that she hopes her presence in the finals "inspires lifetime fitness as we age" and that "sports are breaking the age stereotype."
The award is being presented at the New York Athletic Club (180 Central Park South) at 6 P.M. Tuesday night, April 13. Raschker said that she is "extremely honored" to be one of five finalists with basketball star Lebron James, Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, swimmer Michael Phelps, and University of Connecticut basketball leader Diana Taurasi.
"The majority of Americans are over 40 now, and 35 million Americans are over 65. I hope that my presence in the finals inspires lifetime fitness as we age," Raschker said. "Sports are breaking the age stereotype. I am extremely grateful to the Senior Games and to Masters Track and Field for providing great opportunities for all Americans to stay fit for a lifetime. I hope that today’s recognition by the Sullivan Award committee and the New York Athletic Club of me as not just a masters athlete, but an athlete regardless of age, is a message that we never need to lose our competitive spirit and that we can remain healthy and fit for an entire lifetime through participating in sports."
"You are never too old to dream. I’m just 57, but there are competitors even over 100 in masters track and field, and I hope one day to be among them!"
"By participating in sports, every day of our life offers a fresh start. Perhaps my being a finalist will be a way of telling Americans that it’s OK and even a good thing, a very good thing, to get out there and walk, jog, bike, swim, and even take part in the many opportunities we now have for age group competitive sports. It’s fun, and it can be a life-saver. This award is for all the aging athletes out there, " Raschker concluded.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO INTERVIEW RASCHKER, Contact Bob Weiner, National Masters Track Media Chair, at 301-283-0821 or cells 202-329-1700 or 202-361-0611.
PHILIPPA "PHIL" RASCHKER
Age 57, Marietta, GA
**FIRST "MASTERS" ATHLETE SULLIVAN FINALIST FOR AMERICA’S TOP AMATEUR ATHLETE, AND NOW IN FINAL FIVE**
For more information or for contact: Bob Weiner, National Masters Media Chair, 301-283-0821 or cell 202-361-0611.
2003 World Records/American Records
Set by Philippa (Phil) Raschker
USATF National Indoor Open
March 3, 2003
200 meters 27.81 World Record
USATF National Indoor Masters Heptathlon
March 8-9, 2003
Heptathlon 6724 points World Best
60 m Hurdles 10.06 Sec. World Record
Pole Vault 8'10 3/4" ( 2.70 m)World Record
Long Jump 15'7" (4.75 m) World Record
USATF National Masters Indoor Championships
March 28, 2003
Pentathlon 4822 points World Record
60 m Hurdles 9.84 seconds World Record (improved)
National Senior Games
Hampton Roads, VA
Pole Vault 9'10" (3.00 m) World Record
WMA (World Association of Masters Athletes) Masters
Outdoor Heptathlon Championships
Carolina, Puerto Rico
July 2-3, 2003
High Jump 4' 9 3/4" (1.47) World Record
That is 8 World Records, one was broken within the same season by Phil.
All of the above are also AM records plus:
National Indoor Pentathlon Championships
High Jump 1.46 m American Record
National Outdoor Heptathlon Championships
High Jump 1.45 m American Record (bettered it to 1.47 in Puerto Rico to become a World Record)
As indicated, Phil bettered these American records as World Records.
Comments by Phil Raschker, Sullivan Award Finalist
April 13, 2004
I am humbled and honored to be even considered a finalist with the greats like basketball standout Lebron James, Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno, Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps, and national basketball champion once again, Diana Taurasi.
Thank you to the AAU and Sullivan Award Committee for this prestigious honor. A special thanks goes to the Senior Games for nominating me and Masters Track and Field for their support. Both organizations provide great opportunities for all Americans to stay fit for a lifetime.
To my Mother and friends, I really appreciate your being here.
By participating in sports, every day of our life offers a fresh start. I am not 57 years old. I am 57 years new.
I hope that my being here not as just a masters athlete, but an athlete regardless of age, sends a message that we never need to lose our competitive spirit and that we can remain healthy and fit for an entire lifetime by competing in sports. Sports are breaking the age stereotype.
I am still hurdling, sprinting, jumping, throwing, vaulting and strategizing how to keep taking my athletics to the next level.
You are never too old to dream.
The majority of Americans are over 40 now.
This award is for all the aging athletes out there,
The ones who dare to keep testing the limits of their abilities:
And who DARE to stop time from robbing them of the pure joy of competing.
There are 35 million Americans over 65.
Everett Hosack is still setting track records at the age of 103.
Margaret Hinton in her 80’s is still pole vaulting.
My good friend played HER 1st professional full-tackle women’s football game last weekend at the age of 47.
These amazing athletes are demonstrating what is possible when dedicating a life to health and fitness.
I want my being here tonight to be a way of telling Americans that it’s OK and even a good thing, a very good thing, to get out there and walk, jog, bike, swim, and even take part in the many opportunities we now have for age group competitive sports. Run a 5K. Challenge yourself. It’s fun, and it can be a lifesaver.
Regardless of age…we never need to lose our competitive spirit and if you carry that into sports, it can help you remain healthy and fit.
As Babe Ruth once said, "It’s hard to beat someone that never gives up."
For those coaching as well as competing, remember that age need not stop our drive if we understand: "She or he that attempts the impossible has little competition."
In closing: It is easy to take a small step to better health and fitness. Though the real question is…
Are you willing to take enough of them?
You’re never too old to run, jump, vault, and dream; Anything is within your reach.
And…. dreams really do come true!
Phil Raschker Sullivan Comments
I thank my mother and friends, the AAU, and the Sullivan Committee.
Sports are breaking down age stereotyping. Masters and senior track have kept me at 57 fit for a lifetime.
Tonight, it's not just the young strapping athletes on stage: it's an older hopefully strapping woman athlete!
You are never too old to dream. The majority of americans are over 40 now.
You’re never too old to run, jump, and vault.
Dreams really do come true! Proof is that I'm here tonight not just as a masters athlete, but an athlete regardless of age.
This is for all the aging athletes out there!