‘Never stop training’: Local 79-year-old to compete in Senior Olympics

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – One man in the Cedar Valley is running in a track and field competition.

But he’s not your average athlete.

Jimm Ites is 79-years-old, or as he would say, 79-years-young.


The Iowa native said he’s always been physically active, beginning as a young boy.

“I feel that I have discovered the fountain of youth, and this training is just one of those arms,” Ites said with a smile.

KWWL met Ites at Crossfit Kilo, a Cedar Falls gym where he often trains.

There, you’ll find him sprinting, dead lifting and always smiling.

Ites said he’s followed one motto his entire life.

“Never stop training,” he explained.

This mindset has kept Ites going for nearly seven decades, literally.

“As I think in my heart, so am I, so those have become my inner rules,” he said.


Ites started competing in the Senior Olympics about 30 years ago. He travels to different powerlifting and track and field events across the country.

“I just run like I’m being chased by a mountain lion, and I love to see the finish line coming, I just love that stuff,” he said with a laugh.

Dozens of competitions have tested his strength and endurance. You can see it in the number of medals Ites has won over the years.

“When you leave a competition, you’re already planning for the next one,” Ites said.

But the accolades aren’t enough for him. Ites said he’ll never stop.

“A doctor a long time ago told me that I should leave this to the young people,” he said. “Well, that’s not my concept.”

His secret? He claimed it’s pretty simple.

“Well, right here,” Ites said while pointing to his head. “It’s all in your belief system.”


Ites is running in the 50, 100, 200 and 400 meter races in Arizona on Saturday.

He will be with other athletes in the 80-84 age bracket. Ites turns doesn’t turn 80 until July, but because of the rules, he can compete in the next oldest age group.

Ites said he has already qualified for the national Senior Olympics in New Mexico. That will be held in June.

After this weekend, Ites will head to Rock Island, Illinois, to compete in a powerlifting event on Feb. 23.

Olivia Schmitt

Olivia Schmitt

Morning Reporter at KWWL
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