Martensville man, 80, sets track and field records
Ted Rowan broke 8 Saskatchewan records and 3 Canadian records in 2013
Ted Rowan may not be going to the Olympics in Sochi, but he's one of Saskatchewan's most decorated athletes.
In the past year, the 80-year-old Martensville resident has won medals in the 100-metre, 200-metre and 1500-metre runs, long jump, high jump, discus, and javelin.
While competing across North America, Rowan set Canadian records in pentathlon, 200 metre, and long jump in the men's 80 to 84 class. He also broke eight Saskatchewan records in a variety of track and field events.
After a year of smashing records, Rowan was named the 2013 Sask Sport Inc. Master Athlete of the Year. A Masters athlete is anyone over the age of 55.
"It's kind of nice for the recognition," Rowan said. "I kind of have to take it with a little grain of salt. I always say there's the guys like me and then there's the real athletes. But it's nice to be able to do something like this."
An amateur boxer in his teens, Rowan has always been active. But he's a late bloomer to track and field. Rowan didn't start training until the day after his 70th birthday .
"I went to the park and I was going to run 100 metres," Rowan said. "[I] measured her all out and of course I didn't know nothing from nothing as far as approaches and training. So immediately I pulled my quad."
It didn't take Rowan long to hit his stride. Now, he's one of the best athletes in the world for his age.
"I don't think it's extraordinary," Rowan said. "The point is I'm just fortunate to be in good health and for some reason or another. I just haven't lost my quickness."
While Rowan is modest when talking about his accomplishments, he isn't lowering the bar on his goals.
"My goal is to try to break the world record in the pentathlon," he said.
Rowan will get a chance to do that in March when he travels to Toronto to compete at the Canadian Masters Indoor Championships.
Basement training leads to success
Take one step into Rowan's basement and you can see his passion for sports.
Framed photos of great athletes and moments in history cover almost every inch of his basement. There are also countless medals and photos of him competing.
But Rowan's basement also serves as his training headquarters. In one corner, he has a high jump bar and mat. Rowan also practices his starts for sprinting events, as well as pole vault techniques there.
Rowan's wife, Barbara Parney-Rowan, doesn't mind the field house in their basement.
"You know a lot of people can't believe that he's doing it," Parney-Rowan said. "But I think it really helps him."
While he's already been in several national and international competitions, Rowan said he wakes up every day excited to train for the next rush.
"Waiting for the gun to go, it's scary," Rowan said. "And then when it's over, the more scary it is at the start, the bigger the rush at the end."