Manny Hauer shows off a 1,500-meter race walk gold medal he won in 2009 when he was 98 years old.

Manny Hauer will turn 107 on May 1.

While that’s a remarkable achievement in itself, there’s another line on his lifetime resume that’s equally as impressive. Hauer was named to the Michigan Senior Olympics Hall of Fame last year when he was 106.

He began competing in the annual Michigan Senior Olympics in his only event, the 1,500-meter race walk, shortly after he retired from the work world at age 70.

Manny Hauer shows off a 1,500-meter race walk gold medal he won in 2009 when he was 98 years old.
Manny Hauer shows off a 1,500-meter race walk gold medal he won in 2009 when he was 98 years old.

Hauer retired from race walking at age 101 after collecting a mountain of gold medals.

Michigan Senior Olympics had to create a new age group category in the race walk event because of him. Hauer couldn’t compete in the 95-and-older group any longer, so he competed solo in the 100-and-older division.

Hauer competed in the National Senior Games in Florida in 1999. He won, of course. And he did the Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge with family members a couple times when he was in his 90s.

“Walk daily, eat healthy foods and limit red meat” is Hauer’s advice for a long life, said Sylvia Willner of Farmington Hills, his daughter.

Competing in the Michigan Senior Olympics also can be a fountain of youth.

“The Senior Olympics gave my dad a focus for his life,” Willner said. “As soon as he completed one race, he began training for the next year’s race. He trained inside and outside year-round.”

Willner said her father didn’t compete in sports until after he retired from working at a commercial laundry in Detroit.

To keep active after his retirement, he began walking around his hometown of Oak Park.

Workers at the Oak Park Department of Recreation told him he should compete in the Michigan Senior Olympics. The rest, as they say, is history.

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1911, Hauer came to Detroit in 1939 to join his sister. He left Czechoslovakia three days before Hitler’s forces invaded the country.

He was married to his wife, Helen, for 74 years. She died in 2014. They lived in Oak Park for 36 years.

Hauer moved into the Colville Assisted Living Apartments in Oak Park five years ago. He has three daughters, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

“My dad was an inspiration to those who competed against him in the Senior Olympics, and his perseverance and resilience has been a wonderful example and inspiration to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family and friends,” Willner said.

Zach Attack

Zach Oshinsky’s fabulous save for the Olivet College baseball team Feb. 25 earned the southpaw pitcher from West Bloomfield a national NCAA Division III honor.

He was named to the Team of the Week. Top performers at each position from the previous week are selected from nominations submitted by college sports information directors and Oshinsky made the squad at relief pitcher.

Here’s what happened in Olivet’s 7-6 win over Wisconsin-Platteville in Louisville, Ky.

Oshinsky entered the game with Olivet ahead 7-5 in the bottom of the 10th inning. Platteville had the bases loaded with nobody out and the batter at the plate had a 3-0 count.

The batter looked at two pitches for strikes from Oshinsky, then swung and missed. One out.

Oshinsky walked the next hitter on a 3-2 count to force in a run, but the 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior fanned the next two batters on called strikes on 2-2 counts to preserve the Comets’ win.

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