101-Year-Old BR Woman Competing in Senior Olympic Games

BATON ROUGE, LA---Julia Hawkins says, "People think their old at 80, well I could do all kinds of things I can't do now at 80." Louisiana native, Julia Hawkins is standing the test of time by starting her athletic career at the age of 81, now 20 years later still challenging herself. "I bike just about every day," Hawkins says.

 

This 101-year-old great-grandmother and retired teacher was raised in Ponchatoula and also a graduate of Baton Rouge High and LSU. 

She still lives in her house in University Acres that her late husband, Murray built in 1949, where they raised their 4 children. "We lived here ever since, same roof," she says.

 

After hearing about the Senior Games, she decided to give it a try.

Hawkins says, "I just loved it and I did it for 4 or 5 or 6 years."

Mrs. Hawkins' has won many medals over the last 20 years. At 81, she won gold medals in the 5 and 10 kilometer cycling events at the Senior Olympics in 1997. Then picked up running---she won in her age group in the cycling 5k at the Louisiana Senior Games and the 50-meter dash last summer. Now in training because this June, she will be competing for the 5k bike race and the 50 and 100 meter runs in Birmingham, Alabama.  She says, "The first one I got a Bronze and I was so excited because it did have hills, not bad but bad for a Louisiana. I treasures that bronze one because it was the first and I was proud to get it."

 

She says her secret for longevity is…"Keep busy, not only physically but mentally. Marry a good man, if you have 70 years with a good man, it's wonderful." 

Mrs. Hawkins amazing athletic accomplishments earned her a feature in sports illustrated last year.

 

She says, "Well it was a thrill. I was excited a little. Once you lived so many years, so many things that have happened, having children and being married to this wonderful man for all those years, I've just about done everything I've wanted to do and I just feel like I've had a great life."


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