By Scott Allen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
A marathon runner, a wife, a mother of five, a survivor of World War II, a registered nurse, and a college student – yes, a college student – are all fitting titles for 59-year-old Erica Goldstein.
Goldstein, a women’s studies major at the UA, has had quite a life so far, one that most recently has included winning three gold medals — in the 100- and 200-yard races and in the 10-kilometer race — at the Rocky Mountain Senior Olympics in Greely, Colo., Aug. 9-14.
“My husband inspired me a lot,” Goldstein said of where she gets her outside motivation.
Goldstein, who is also a registered nurse, said that she has come back to school so she can earn her degree and go on to help others.
“I have an interest in human rights and would like to do volunteer work in another country,” Goldstein said.
She has not always been able to do what she wanted, though, as the first part of her life was difficult.
Originally from Yorkshire, England, Goldstein lived through the experience of World War II in Dresden, Germany.
“My mother and father were separated and I had to live with my grandparents while my father was stationed in England,” she said. “We thought it [the war] would last only a short while. We were bombed and lost everything.”
The turmoil for Goldstein did not end there.
“We were taken prisoner by the Russians and held for about a month before we got away,” she said. “We got into a British Soldier’s Camp with our passports and were placed into a displaced persons camp in Scotland where I stayed for about a year, then I came to this country.”
Goldstein began running in numerous 10 kilometer races while living in Seattle before she moved to Tucson.
She is involved so much because she does not want to be like many other women her age who don’t do as much.
“I was lonesome,” she said. “I saw myself eating at a table with a bunch of other women.”
Goldstein’s main focus is on patience, her children and her family.
“I never had the chance to indulge myself,” Goldstein said.
Goldstein is not stopping at the Rocky Mountain Games either. She plans on competing in the National Senior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas on May 17-24, 1995.
What she really has her eyes on is the National Senior Olympics which will be in Tucson in 1997.
“I’m going to re-qualify in 1996 and I’m going to sign up for events and get a qualifying time,” she said. “Wait until they find out about me.”
Goldstein also hopes for a qualifying time in other events as well, events such as the long jump.
What keeps this physically sound 59-year-old woman going is courage.
“You feel so much better when you are doing something for yourself,” Goldstein said. “I would like to see women my age not miss out on any opportunities.
She doesn’t plan on quitting.
“I won’t say it, my body will say it,” Goldstein said.
So for this 59-year-old UA student and athlete, her adventures are just beginning.
“I’m very ambitious,” she said.
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