94-Year-Old Dallas Athlete Still Running Strong
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s an astounding athlete in Dallas few have heard of. That’s because he’s 94 years old.
Orville Rogers is breaking all kinds of running records for his age group.
“I’m the only 90-year-old in the world that has run a 10-minute mile,” Orville Rogers said.
Rogers admits there aren’t too many competitors in his age class. He runs for the record.
“I’ve been to three national meets and one international meet. I have the world record in the mile and mile and a half,” he said.
Rogers runs 10 to 12 miles a week. But he didn’t even start running until he was 50.
He was a pilot for Braniff International Airways back then. During a layover in Chicago, he picked up a book by fitness pioneer Dr. Kenneth Cooper.
“I read it in the next 24 hours and I started running immediately,” he said.
Rogers became one of Cooper’s first patients in Dallas. He runs and lifts weights at the Cooper Aerobic Center three times a week.
Rogers has run a lot of miles in 44 years: 38,000 of them.
Or, as he put it, “soon to be 39,000.”
If there is a lesson to be learned from Orville Rogers, it’s that it’s never too late to start.
He tried skydiving at the age of 91. Two years later, it was hang gliding.
Rogers served in World War II, retired from Braniff after 31 years, raised a family and, just four years ago, lost his wife.
He’s lived a long life. He attributes that to exercise.
“Hey, if you don’t use it, you lose it,” he said.
Rogers has suffered through illness but recovered quickly.
He had a stroke in March. His left hand and left foot were totally paralyzed. His left hip was partially paralyzed.
But it only lasted for a week.
“It started coming back the third or fourth day and gradually got better,” he said.
He runs without any visible impairment.
Asked how it felt to pass up younger runners on the track he said, “Makes me feel good.”
He paused, then added the caveat, “I don’t know how it makes them feel.”
There’s a documentary being shown in Dallas called the “Age of Champions.” It’s about an amazing group of older athletes much like Orville Rogers.
He’ll be one of the speakers featured after the documentary, which will be shown at the C.C. Young retirement community at The Point, Center for Arts and Education at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 21.