85-year-old Vietnam veteran takes home silver medal in racquetball at National Senior Games

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 15:41:05-04

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    LAS VEGAS, NV (KTNV) — When Ron Williams steps foot on the court, he means business.

“You can come in here to play racquetball for fun and it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose but I don’t have that feeling,” says Williams, who’s played handball and racquetball for more than 60 years.

At 85 years old, Williams’ competitive spirit is as fierce as ever.

Last year, he took home his fourth straight gold in the Nevada Senior Games, which qualified him to compete in the National Senior Games this month. There, he swept three straight players to reach the finals.

“It’s nice to get a medal, second place, but I didn’t go there to get second place. I went there to get the gold,” says Williams.

Coming home with a silver medal was disappointing for Williams, who spent the past six months training nearly every day.

“You just don’t come play racquetball,” said Williams. “You have to do exercising, running, treadmill and all that stuff.”

Although he’s been retired for years, the training, the regimen comes naturally to Williams, who flew 250 combat missions as a pilot in the Air Force. During his decades serving our country, Williams was stationed everywhere from Texas to Florida and Japan to Vietnam. Although he seldom found moments to play, handball and racquetball became an outlet — a place he not only worked up a sweat but found joy.

“In fighters, you had to be in pretty good shape,” he says. “Racquetball was easier or more fun than just to go and exercise so you had to do both but it was enjoyable playing handball and racquetball.”

All these years later, Williams still finds racquetball enjoyable.

And although he’s in the business of winning, he said with age comes a little more perspective.

“It’s just a game and it’s not like the Super Bowl. It’s just a game that you play and you want to win and after I lost, it took me a day or two to get over it, but a hundred years from now, it won’t make a bit of difference. Maybe next week.” said Williams, with a laugh.

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