90-year-old Senior Olympian still shines

By Rachel McNeill - Anchor

HOUSTON - As the Olympic spotlight falls on track and field athletes from around the world, a Texas woman has a thing or two on them -- more than 700 gold medals!

Margaret Hinton, 90, was still beaming after scooping up eight gold medals at the 2012 USA Track and Field Southwest Region Masters Championship.

She's competed in senior games on the local, national and international level since the age of 68.

Hinton said, "1989 I believe it was (when) I saw it the first time  -- Houston had the Senior Olympics. I saw it in the (Houston) Post. So, I asked my son-in-law, 'How far is 100 meters?' He said, 'Well, it's around the baseball bases and back to first base,' and I thought, 'I can do that!'"

Since then, she's medaled consistently in her age group in events like high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot-put and discus.

What keeps her coming back?

She laughed, "Just the competition and to get my name up there."

In 2004, at age 83, the grandmother hit an unexpected hurdle.

"I called the doctor and told them I had this knot under my arm," Hinton said.

It was metastatic breast cancer. Her team of doctors decided against chemotherapy.

She explained, "(The doctor said) 'With your age and your attitude and what you're doing, I don't recommend it.' I said, 'I'm with you. I don't like it either.'"

Over the years, Dr. Sharon Giordano, associate professor of medicine at MD Anderson's Breast Cancer Center, has treated Hinton.

Giordano said, "She's had multiple different therapies and hormone-blocking therapies, but she's never had to be on any kind of chemotherapy, and her disease has been quite stable."

Giordano said there's no question Hinton's athleticism and attitude are inspirational.

She said, "I'm sure that it helps. She's so fit and in great shape for a woman of her age, and I'm sure that contributes to how well she's done."

On and off the track, Hinton lives by this motto: Overbearing in Victory, Surly in defeat.

She said, "You've got to want to do it. If not you're not going to do it, and if you ever tell yourself, 'I'm not going to do it,' you cant."

Hinton was planning on this past competition being her last, but she said after learning one of her close friends and fellow senior athletes passed away, she wants to come back to beat her record time.

Hinton will turn 91 on Aug. 15.

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