MILTON, Ga. – Fifty-year-old Steve Quintana won a gold medal for the 50-meter sprint, and he didn’t even have to beat Usain Bolt in London.
Instead, Quintana, of Milton, competed in the Georgia Golden Olympics in Warner Robins, Ga., winning the gold for the 50-54 age group with a time of 7.8 seconds.
The race, held Sept. 19-22, was the first of two events for Quintana.
He also placed fourth in the 100-meter sprint.
“I’m a cancer survivor, having beat prostate cancer two years ago,” he said. “I used to walk a lot, but after having cancer, I was in bad shape. I wanted to do something to feel better again, so I decided to train for the Golden Olympics.”
Quintana was a runner in high school and decided to pay homage to his younger years by running the races.
“I’m always telling my 13-year-old son how fast I could run in high school and he’s always kind of rolled his eyes at me about it,” he said. “This gave me an opportunity to show him what I could do.”
Quintana said his son was thrilled when he brought home the gold.
“I didn’t train as much as I should have,” he said, “but I averaged about one-and-one-half-mile runs and 45 minutes of sprints four days a week."
Quintana’s win qualifies him to compete in the 2013 Summer National Senior Games held in Cleveland, Ohio.
“To be healthy and be able to participate in this and win is a great honor,” Quintana said. “Watching these older people compete is just incredible. I’m looking forward to watching them again next summer.”