Millard “Bo” Carwyle is a World War II veteran but, at age 91, he’s known by another designation: Senior Olympian.
In 1944, one of the final decisive battles of WWII had ended and Carwyle, an Army information specialist, was in the unit responsible for wrapping things up in and around Dachau, Germany.
“I was in Germany in World War II. I came to Dachau after the Battle of the Bulge, when things were cooling down and we helped get things organized,” Carwyle said at the Alabama Senior Olympics qualifying rounds recently in Birmingham.
After his return from Germany, Carwyle worked as a homebuilder and got involved in athletics. When his wife died in 2010, his children wanted him to remain active. His daughter is a runner and invited him to the Senior Olympics in Mississippi. Carwyle was reinvigorated.
“This year at the Alabama Senior Olympics, I’ll be doing the javelin, shot put, discus, long jump and hammer throw,” Carwyle said, “Excuse me for a minute. They just called my name.”
Carwyle stepped up and grabbed a discus, then placed it on his chest and under his chin, then twirled around and launched it many meters. Those watching cheered for the oldest competitor in the games.
His preparation for the Senior Olympics would be challenging for someone half his age.
“I prepare by lifting weights every day and walking lots of miles every week. I’m on the board of the Alabama Senior Olympics and the Governor’s Commission on (Physical) Fitness and Sports, so I help out with these events all over the state, which helps keep me busy,” Carwyle said.
Carwyle just returned from Indiana, where he won three gold medals.
“Age is only a number,” Carwyle said with a laugh. “I love seeing veterans and other seniors coming to events like these. It keeps me young, that’s for sure.”
Next, Carwyle participated in the javelin. He ran and tossed the spear into the air and it landed a great distance away. All the people watching cheered and he gave them high fives like he had just won the gold medal.
For Carwyle, it’s about more than cheers.
“This is important to me because I want to see as many Senior Olympics as possible,” he said. “I’ve been on the Earth this long and I feel like I’m supposed to help others live as long as they can by staying active and healthy.”
When Carwyle heard his name called for the long jump, he ran off and took his place in line.
At his age and with his accomplishments, it would be understandable if Carwyle wanted to spend his last years in leisure and comfort.
For Carwyle, the comfort is in knowing that he inspires others.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)