Arizona senior strives for success

By Jason A. Vrtis

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Recapturing one's lost youth can be a difficult task, but 59-year-old Erica Goldstein is just happy to have the opportunity.

Goldstein, a women's studies major at the UA, will be competing in the 100- and 200-meter races in the National Senior Olympics, May 17-24, in San Antonio, Texas.

Growing up in Dresden, Germany during World War II, Goldstein found it hard to stay active.

"With a war going on, I did not have the same opportunities kids have nowadays," Goldstein said.

Last January Goldstein competed in the Senior Olympic Festival in Tucson and won four gold medals in the 50-, 100-, 200-meter races and one in softball.

The following month, Goldstein took three more medals in the Arizona Senior Olympics in Phoenix.

Her ultimate goal is to compete in the 1997 National Senior Olympics here in Tucson.

Besides spending her time running and being a student, Goldstein is a registered nurse, mother of five, grandmother of three and a devoted wife.

"I don't want to be old and stiff. You have to push yourself," Goldstein said.

At 39, Goldstein started playing soccer and using her speed to out-run women many years younger than her. That gave her the idea to start competing in track.

"It is very inspiring to see 80-year-olds competing and enjoying themselves so much," Goldstein said.

Goldstein also finds support and inspiration from

her husband Robert, 67, who also has qualified to compete in the Senior Olympics in racquetball and softball.

"Bob is always out there pushing me and helping me train," Goldstein said.

After raising her family in Seattle, Goldstein moved to Tucson with her husband to seek her degree and go on to graduate school. Goldstein is scheduled to earn her bachelor's degree in December and she plans to stay at the UA for her master's degree.

"I don't see myself not using my mind or body," she said. "If I can't do that then I do not want to be here."

Goldstein is enjoying her time here at the UA.

"I've made friends and had a lot of fun," she said. "It's like creating a new family."

Goldstein, who will turn 60 in August, plans to continue to compete at the national level, where she will have the advantage of being in a new age bracket.

"I'll keep doing what I'm doing because it feels good," she said.

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