BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – 103-year-old runner gaining national exposure for her win at the National Senior Olympics.
She’s known for her quick feet that carried her across the finish line at the 2019 Senior Olympics.
Her name is Julia Hawkins, also know as ‘Hurricane’.
“I saw my first airplane and first television, first computers. When all these computers came in I was probably 80 or something like that.”
She’s become a social media star after the video of her competing was posted to Twitter.
“I’ve been in sports Illustrated 4 times.”
She’s 103-years-old but her zest for life is as infectious as the viral video that made her famous.
“It’s like I’m on a roller coaster or shooting star and I wonder when it will end?”
At 103-years-old, the Baton Rouge native is still quick on her feet.
She is being nationally recognized for winning the 100 meter dash at the 2019 Senior Olympics.
She first competed in the Senior Olympics as a cyclists.
“I biked in 4 nationals. In the first one I got a bronze medal, and I was so happy with that medal. To get a medal in the National Senior Olympics!”
Close to her 100th birthday she wanted to take on a new challenge.
“The first time I ran was in lake Charles. The Senior Olympics State was held there that year. It was 2 or 3 years ago. I was 99, I think, and I ran the 50 yard dash for the first time. I saw all of these wonderful older people running and pole vaulting and high jumping and I thought how wonderful.”
She has won the gold medal at the Senior Olympics in the 100 meter dash every year since.
“At 100-years-old you’re not getting better, so you don’t want to waste your races. So you just stay active and limber and doing things all the time.”
She said she has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“I feel like if I can help people stay healthy, which is one of the things everybody says is ‘I want to be like you’. I had a little 13-year-old girl stop me and say she is just starting running and wants to continue like me.”
Her story has been shared around the country.
“It pleases me and pleases all my family. My kids think it’s wonderful and my grandchildren are like ‘Oh! look at Nana’.”
Many wonder what keeps her going.
“I think it’s important when you get old to have passions. To care about things. And whatever your passions are, and the more that you have when you’re older, the longer you’ll live, in my opinion, because you have something to live for. And the other thing is magic moments. Things like rainbows, and shooting stars, and sunsets, and sunrises, and beautiful birds and nice things people say to you. There are things for people to see you just have to be looking.”
Hawkins said it’s moments like these that make life worth living.
If you would like to learn more about Mrs. Hawkins you can read her book “It’s been Wondrous!” it’s available on Amazon.