Green River Star -

People Editor 

Going for the Senior Olympic gold


October 11, 2017

Star photo by Stephanie Thompson

The collection of medals Pete Rust won during the Senior Olympics in August.

Green River's mayor brought home four gold medals and one silver medal after competing in the Senior Olympics.

Pete Rust recently competed in the Wyoming Senior Olympics, which took place in Laramie Aug 2-5.

During the competition, Rust excelled at the standing long jump, softball throw, football throw and discus throw earning gold medals in all of these. He also did well at the frisbee throw taking a silver medal in that competition.

Over the years, Rust has obtained 12 medals, including eight gold medals, two silver medals and 2 bronze.

"I enjoy competing. I enjoy participating," Rust said. "If not for the Senior Olympics, I'd be doing a triathlon or something."

Rust first started competing in the Senior Olympics when the event was hosted in Rock Springs. A Wyoming location is selected and then the Olympics is hosted at that location for two years.

"I did this when it was in Rock Springs for two years," Rust said. "I've always been athletic."

This year, was different than previous years for Rust, he didn't compete in javelin throw or the high jump due to scheduling conflicts. 

"I didn't even get to see the competitors in a lot of events," Rust said.

He also noticed that on the years when nationals don't take place, there are less competitors, but that doesn't stop him from competing. During a nationals year, those who take gold in an event automatically qualify for nationals. It's up to the competitor on whether or not they attend nationals. Rust has never attended nationals, but said he might consider attending if it is hosted at a location he wouldn't mind visiting.

"I'd have to train a lot harder," he said.

Plus, he doesn't even know if some of the events he competed in are events nationals hosts. He'd have to look into that.

When Rust was in high school, he participated in baseball, football and wrestling. Now, he plays racket ball two or three times a weeks, walks the Greenbelt with his wife a few times a week and runs up and down the railroad over pass stairs with his wife.

"I still dive and run into the walls when I play racket ball," Rust said with a laugh. "I probably shouldn't do that at 68."

He also lifts weights and plays pickleball, which is a combination of tennis and pingpong ball and is considered one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.

"It's a good exercise for elderly people because it's not too hard on the body," Rust said.

As for throwing the discus, this was something Rust learned from his sons. One was the best in the state in discus and the other was the best in the state in shot put.

"I've been out in the field throwing them back for years," Rust said.

He decided that since he had to throw the shot puts and discus back every time he might as well learn the correct way to throw them; and with the help of his sons he was able to do that.

Rust plans on competing again next year.

"I'm gong to do better," Rust said. "I know it's going to be tougher because I know there will be more competitors. That's good motivation."

He also knows that even though the event takes place in Wyoming, there are serious competitors who come from all over, including New York, California, Montana, Idaho and Illinois, to name a few. Pete said some people just travel around the country going from one Senior Olympic event to another just like marathon runners travel. 

With this in mind, Rust plans to continuing training even harder for next year's Olympics.

But for now, he can just enjoy looking at or wearing his four gold medals and one silver medal he earned this year.


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