Five rows of medals hang the full length of the office in Lawrence “Andy” Anderson’s home. These 620 medals and ribbons are the result of nearly 20 years of international athletic competition.
“I have competed in all of the National Senior Games,” he said proudly.
He enjoys the camaraderie of the competitions even though he has never won a first place medal at the Games. “Anyone can compete at any level, they don’t have to be champions.”
Today Anderson runs the 100 meter in 14.53 seconds and the 200 meter in 31.09 (approximately 15-16 miles per hour). His best time for the 100 meter is 12.64 seconds (18 mph). He’s done the 200-meter race in 26.42 seconds.
“I am one of a few Americans to get a gold medal from the Olympic Stadium in Moscow.” Americans boycotted the International Olympics Games in 1980, but Anderson competed at the stadium in the 1991 Russian Nationals, winning first place in each of his three races.
Anderson is a retired concrete contractor. Before his retirement in 1993, he built the bridges at Paseo del Norte and Coors in Albuquerque and in Mesquite across the Rio Grande. Throughout his business career he sponsored and played on various softball teams. In 1988, his Duke City Roadrunners won the Senior World Championship. He started to run at 56 when a fellow Senior All Star Softball Team member encouraged him to compete. This is his 17th year in Senior Olympics.
“I like to run. I think it’s good for me,” he said, “But my stamina has gone downhill.” Seven years ago Anderson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He doesn’t see his disease as a reason to stop running, though.
He laughed, “You’ll have to drag me off the track.”