Revelstoke has another world champion to call our own. Marek Glowacki won gold in the shot put at the World Masters Track and Field Championship in Sacramento last weekend.
Glowacki, 70, competing in the age 70-74 category, propelled the shot put 13.74 metres to take the victory on July 9. Two days later he placed sixth in the discus and over the weekend he came in fourth in the hammer throw and fourth in the throwing pentathlon, which consists of shot put, discus, javelin, hammer throw and weight throw.
For Glowacki the results are another chapter in a lengthy athletics career that saw him compete for many years in his native Poland in the ‘60s and later coach the University of Alberta track team to a national championship in 2001.
Glowacki took part in track and field in Poland growing up, eventually becoming one of the top decathletes in the country. He retired from competition in 1969, became a high school teacher and coached a team in southern Poland.
Glowacki immigrated to Canada in 1981, arriving on Halloween.
“I remember that was a strange day for us because I never knew that kind of habit,” he said.
He settled in Edmonton and became head coach of the University of Alberta track and field team. The highlight was winning the national championship in 2001. A year later he retired. He moved to Revelstoke in 2009 to be closer to his son Darek and grandson Oscar.
Glowacki has been competing at Masters’ events since the 1995 world championships in Buffalo, NY. His shot put victory was his first gold at the world championships but he did win a bronze medal in the throwing pentathlon in the world championships in San Sebastian, Spain, in 2005.
This year’s World Masters Athletics championships attracted nearly 5,000 athletes from almost 100 countries, ranging in age from 35 to 102. The event is for high-level athletes and includes several former Olympians. It includes Olga Kotelko, a 92-year-old Canadian who holds the world record in her age category for every event.
Glowacki said he trains every three days to stay in shape but avoids running and jumping events because of the strains
“Now it’s easier to compete in throwing events,” he said. “They’re not as demanding as running and jumping.”
To prepare this year, he returned home to Poland where he competed at the national championships and won the throwing pentathlon and was named the best athlete across all age categories, he said.
“That was quite a thrill for me,” he said. “To be the best athlete across all ages and all events, that was quite an accomplishment.”
The event also gives him the chance to catch up with old teammates and rivals. He was sharing a hotel room with an old friend of his.
He plans on competing as long as he is able, he said.