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At age 50, Willie Gault still burns up the track

We so often hear about former NFL players who are hobbling around on bad knees that it’s nice to occasionally see a story about a former player who moves almost as well in retirement as he did on the field.

Willie Gault, who played wide receiver for the Bears and Raiders in the 1980s and 1990s, is now 50 years old and still blazingly fast: He recently set world records in the 50-54 age group in both the 100-meter dash (10.88 seconds) and 200-meter dash (22.44 seconds).

As we noted in today’s one-liners, Gault hasn’t lost much speed from his playing days, and he attributes that to living the right way.

“I’ve always thought about what I want to accomplish and how I want my body to look,” Gault told the Daily Herald. “I eat right. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs. I know I’m only going to get one body. You can’t trade it in like a used car. I’ve always been very conscious of my body, and I treat my body right. I try to be stress free. I realize I’m never as great as my best day or as bad as my worst day. I don’t take anything too seriously, I laugh a lot and I play a lot. Acting like a kid sometimes helps keep me young.”

Gault says that his health goes beyond just working out and eating right, and is part of his whole life philosophy.

“Life is too short to have bitterness,” he said. “Don’t hold grudges; move on. You’re only here for a short time, even if you live to be 100.”

As good a player as he was on the football field, Gault says the sport he loves most is track.

“Track and field is the greatest sport in the world,” Gault said. “I think [track] is better than football as a pure sport. . . . Is football a great sport? Of course. I’ve done a lot of sports, but track and field is the greatest because it’s just you out there.”

The vast majority of people could never run a 100-meter dash in less than 11 seconds at any point in their lives, let alone after turning 50. But Gault says everyone can be in good shape late in life if they’re willing to work at it.

“I just never really stopped running,” Gault said. “It’s really easy to get out of shape, especially when you get older, and then it’s just way too hard to get back. People get discouraged because after a few weeks they’re not seeing great results, so they give up. I never want to get out of shape. I’ll do it 3-4 times a week until I die.”

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19 Responses to “At age 50, Willie Gault still burns up the track”
  1. ronniemexico says: Jun 6, 2011 12:00 PM

    I bet if they threw him a pass he still would have dropped it.

  2. davikes says: Jun 6, 2011 12:04 PM

    Well that’s just great. I’m only 48 and probably couldn’t run the hundred in 20 seconds. Thanks Willie for getting my Monday morning off to a great start. I think I’ll go get a donut or something.

    But seriously, hats off to Willie for having a great attitude about life.

  3. shaggytoodle says: Jun 6, 2011 12:07 PM

    He should probably come back and help the Bears at the reciever position. Coaching or as a player.

  4. marvsleezy says: Jun 6, 2011 12:09 PM

    Queue heart attack in 3,2,1
    Either that or he will be hit by a car crossing the street.

  5. thewizardsrevenge says: Jun 6, 2011 12:24 PM

    It’s nice to see a positive story, though I hope Willie isn’t implying one needs to be a vegetarian to “eat right”.

  6. phillyb6 says: Jun 6, 2011 12:25 PM

    He’s fast in Tecmo Super Bowl even in bad condition

  7. footballmaven says: Jun 6, 2011 12:40 PM

    Big deal, Willie Gault is still fast…any of you Bear fans remember that Fridge caught more TD’s in “85 than he did?

  8. TxGrown says: Jun 6, 2011 1:01 PM

    phillyb6 says:
    “He’s fast in Tecmo Super Bowl even in bad condition”
    Played him with the Raiders in TSB….awsome!

  9. geniusesq says: Jun 6, 2011 1:12 PM

    The most important lessons in this article isn’t that he’s still fast. But, that he seems to live his life in a healthy way both physically and mentally. Listen up kids. Playing Wii isn’t exactly a workout.

  10. beastofeden says: Jun 6, 2011 1:12 PM

    Darrell Green would still lock this chump down

  11. bubbabart says: Jun 6, 2011 1:17 PM

    10.88 FAT is equal to a 10.64 Hand held time….wow, for a fifty year old, that’s amazing. I agree on how good a sport Track and Field is…love this sport!

  12. sftitan says: Jun 6, 2011 1:19 PM

    “I eat right. I’m a vegetarian. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I don’t do drugs.”

    He wins a cookie for being the biggest buzz kill at a party.

  13. krow101 says: Jun 6, 2011 1:24 PM

    10.88 !!! That’s pretty awesome.

  14. zilla1126 says: Jun 6, 2011 1:28 PM

    They need to take some of his blood and freeze it – clearly he is on a number of performance enhancing drugs and once there are tests for them he will be caught.

  15. stixzidinia says: Jun 6, 2011 2:09 PM

    Willie Gault has it right. Good for him.

  16. rushmatic says: Jun 6, 2011 2:28 PM

    And all this time I thought the secret to getting what you wanted was Jesus?

    Or peds. Oh well.

  17. homelanddefense says: Jun 6, 2011 2:43 PM

    phillyb6 beat me to the Tecmo Bowl reference!

  18. jamalsagod says: Jun 6, 2011 2:49 PM

    I think he IS saying that being a vegetarian is how to eat right, and vegetables probably are a performance enhancer over the long haul.

  19. helpmypony says: Jun 6, 2011 6:46 PM

    Good for him!
    I never understood what my body is for.
    That’s why I always leave it laying out on the floor!

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