One of Quesnel’s finest track and field stars is not a chipper young Correlieu Secondary School student.
In fact, it has probably been well over 50 years since he last took a high school course.
Jim Dyer won five medals at this year’s 55+ BC Games in Kelowna a couple of weeks ago (Sept. 10-14).
While he has competed in a variety of different sports over the course of his life, throwing is Dyer’s passion now.
Dyer won a gold medal in the Men 75-79 Hammer Throw, another gold in Men 75-79 Weight Throw, a silver in Men 75-79 Discus and a bronze in Men 75-79 Shot Put.
He also claimed silver in the 4x400m Powerwalk Relay.
The straight-backed powerhouse looks like he would give a medium-sized bear a serious problem in a wrestling match.
His dedication to training is impressive.
“I throw every other day at home,” he says. “I have a cement pad, and I’ve got the lawn nicely cut and then I’ve put down markers with lines, so I know how far I’ve thrown.
Dyer says he spends about an hour on his throwing course every time he trains.
His first few 55+ Games were spent competing in cycling, but there was something missing from the sport.
“The other competitors were really anti-social,” Dyer says. “If you didn’t have a $5,000 road bike, they wouldn’t talk to you.
“When competing, the hill time took 10 minutes and you’d come back and they all disappeared. Or you’d do a time trail for half an hour, and same thing. They disappeared.
“Where’s the fun in that?”
Fifteen years ago, Dyer was approached by Jim Johnson from Williams Lake and encouraged to give track and field a try.
“I went, and it was completely different,”Dyers says. “It’s four days and you set your lawn chair up and it’s ‘Come on Johnny!, Come on George!’ It’s so social.”
Dyers was compelled to try throwing the hammer on a whim and found he had a hankering for it.
“I threw 17 metres [the first year] and the next year I threw 22 , and I got a bronze medal. The next year, I set a B.C. [Senior] Games record and threw 30.”
Dyer’s favourite event now is throwing the weight, which is similar to a hammer throw, but the ball is a little heavier, and the chain is shorter.
He also competes in the throws pentathlon, where he tosses javelin, hammer throw, shot put, weight and hammer throw.
Dyer’s wife Kathy is no slouch either.
Although throwing is not her forte, she loves a fast-paced walk.
Dyers says she walks five kilometres “religiously” every morning, and it has paid off.
Kathy won gold in the Women 55-59 4x400m Powerwalk Relay, a silver in the Women 70-74 1500m Race Walk and a silver in the Women 70-74 5000m Power Walk.
The two have no plans on slowing down any time soon, either.