Each month we highlight one of our Golden Rollers with a photo and short interview. Our conversations explore personal histories and address how staying active has benefitted their health and well-being as they grow older. This month we meet Robert Walker.
If you walk past the Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center in East Austin on any given weekday morning, there’s a good chance you’ll see 82-year-old Robert Walker playing basketball in the courtyard. For nearly an hour you could watch him line up 10 feet out from the baseline and sink shot after shot, nothing but net. What you would not see are the 100-plus medals Robert has hanging in his home from winning Senior Olympics events.
Name: Robert Walker
Hometown: Austin, TX
Bike Experience: Biked while growing up in east Austin. Doesn’t ride much now.
Golden Rollers: “You’re 82-years-old?”
Robert Walker: “Mhm. The Lord blessed me. I just love exercising.”
GR: “You’re a sharpshooter. I’ve seen you [playing basketball]. How long do you shoot for?”
RW: “I’ll shoot for an hour. I’ll shoot 20 straight. I’ll shoot 30-something straight. I can’t shoot as far out as I used to though. I turned down a scholarship in college. I was buying a new car, and at 26-years-old, I was buying a house. And I worked 8 hours [a day] and was taking 17 hours [of classes] a semester. It was impossible. I had to turn down the scholarship to play basketball… I didn’t have the time.”
GR: “You’ve stayed active.”
RW: “All my life. For over 50 years I cut the yard for the church, didn’t charge them anything, just exercise.”
GR: “When did you start doing the Senior Games?”
RW: “I came down [to Conley-Guerrero] in 1994. A few months later in ‘95, they took me down to San Antone to enter, that’s when I got into the Senior Olympics. I was 62 when I went in. I stayed in it 14 years and won a whole lot of medals in 5 different sports. I won over 100 medals. They give you medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. I won 50-something 1st place in 5 different sports.”
GR: “Do you have all the medals?”
RW: “Yeah, the medals are home hanging on the wall.”
Listen to the full interview here: