Free Multivitamins with orders over $100

Meet 91-Year-Old, Three-Sport Athlete Dot Rheinhardt

A medal and discus thrower graphics, Because Market logo, and an image of Dot Rheinhardt.

Vivian Bastos |

Because Market is proud to be sponsoring six incredible women at this year's National Senior Athletic Games organized by the National Senior Games Association (NSGA). These extraordinary women are changing the narrative on what's possible for athletes over 60. Pushing back against stereotypes of the limits aging bodies face, these women take back their autonomy, health, and happiness as they Live Life Fully.

 

We sat down with Dot Rheinhardt, two-time NSGA gold medalist and the first ever gold medalist in the 90+ age division on trying new sports, keeping healthy, and her proudest moments.

 

Graphical image that reads

 

You started as a runner and a basketball player — what got you interested in Track and Field?

My husband had arthritis pretty bad in his hands, but he wanted to stay active. I think there was an article in the paper about discus, and he thought he could try that. He looked at javelin and shot put, but they seemed like they’d be harder for him to do because of his arthritis. But he liked discus, and I thought, well, if he's doing it, I might as well do it, too!

 

You play three sports — javelin, discus, and shot put. Do you enjoy one more than the others?

I think I like discus the best, and it's also the easiest to do because you really can't mess it up too much. Shot put is a little harder because of the weight of the ball, so I don’t care for it as much. Of course, the javelin is also very light, but I think I like discus the best of all those three.

 

Graphical image that reads

 

What's your favorite thing about competing in sports?

Well, I like to keep busy. I mean, when you get to be my age, a lot of people just want to sit down or not do anything—but that's not me. I like to keep busy, and I want to do something that keeps me healthy. That’s my main thing, but I'm a widow now, and my children don't live here, so playing sports just gives me more to do.

 

What’s your training regimen?

I don't like to train every day because your muscles get tired if you do it every day, especially at my age. So I like to go out every other day. What I do is I usually throw the discus first, then the shot put, then the javelin, and the discus again. I also take my shot put ball and lift that up and down and around so I get used to the weight.

 

Dot in action in the discus throw.

 

How do you stay healthy?

By keeping busy and doing my sports. I also like to stay mentally healthy. I like to work on my genealogy. We have a widows and widowers club where we go out to eat lunch and dinner once a month—it keeps you mentally alert to go out and do other things. You can't just sit and do nothing. And my husband liked the discus so much I think, well, I'll keep doing what he wanted to do. Because I think he'd want me to do it. So I have both physical and mental activities, and that helps me keep going.

 

I also watch what I eat. I’ve never had any special diet, and I won’t say I'm the best at eating the right things, but I do like to have salads in the evening and instead of a big meal.

 

A lot of our customers experience bladder leaks and incontinence issues. What advice do you have for them?

It's a good idea to see your doctor and see what they think. You can't get the problem solved until you find out what exactly the problem seems to be. I have a friend who has a lot of UTIs, and I told my friend about the Because Market UTI Defense Probiotic. I think she'd like to use it, and that might help her. She doesn't know exactly why she has so many UTIs, but I think that'd be good.

 

A graphical image that reads

 

What are you particularly proud of? (Medals, awards, honors, etc.)

It's nice to get the medals, but what I really like to do is work against myself, for myself. In other words, if I know I can throw a discus so far, then the next time I go out, I want to try to beat that distance. I really want to do that for myself. I don't try to beat someone else—I know a lot of people want to be first and so forth, and sometimes I am. But it gives me great pleasure to know I've bettered myself. That’s more important to me than just getting a medal—being a little better than I was before.

 

Graphical image that reads

 

What advice do you have for people your age looking to get active?

I think people my age sometimes—I don't know if I want to say they want to give up, but they don't do as much as they could. Sometimes people say to me, really, you play sports? And I say, well, yes. It's something for me to do. I never feel I'm too old to do something. I feel if I can do it, I will do it. I think if more seniors got out and did more things, they’d find they're feeling a little better because they're helping their physical and mental health by doing something and accomplishing something.

 

What are you looking forward to in the future?

I'd like to keep on playing sports as long as I can. I have a knee replacement, and I can't walk too far, but I'd really like to do a 50-meter or a 100-meter. Otherwise, I think I’d just like to keep on with what I'm doing. It's enjoyable, and I meet a lot of people—they're always very nice, and they're from all over the country. It's nice meeting someone from California or New York and finding out what they do and how they're doing.

 

Stay tuned for more exclusive content from the 2023 National Senior Games, advice on how to get active, and interviews from our inspiring athletes.

 

Click here to check out our last interview with shuffleboard athlete and Maryland Senior Games organizer Beth Wheeler!