Geneseo man wins six medals at Senior Olympics

Claudia Loucks
Eighty-three-year-old Mike Cherry of Geneseo shows the six medals he won at the QC Senior Olympics held July 31 at Augustana’s Paul V. Olsen Track in Rock Island.

Mike Cherry recently added six medals to his collection of those he has won at the QC Senior Olympics competition, but isn’t sure just how many he has been awarded through the years.

The three gold and three silver medals are from the competition held July 31 at Augustana College’s Track & Field, but Cherry has competed in the Senior Olympics in previous years and said, “I have always gotten some medals.”

He estimated having received more than 50 medals through the years at the Senior Olympics.

It wasn’t just the number of medals he won this year, but also the fact that several family members went to the event with 83-year-old Cherry.

“My daughter-in-law Karen Cherry had red shirts made that read ‘Team Cherry,’ on the front too,” he said.

He captured gold medals in the high jump, shot put and in weight throw and the silver medals for the discus, javelin and another in a heavier weight throw.

“There are always lots of different events to try at the Olympics,” he said, “and I like to try pretty much everything in the track and field division.”

When asked how he keeps in shape to be able to compete in the athletic events, Cherry said, “I am busy all the time, doing gardening and woodworking and just busy. I don’t like to just sit around.”

Woodworking takes up some of his time and he made banks for each of the couple’s 14 great-grandchildren…”I made farm animals for the girls and toy trucks for r the boys.”

“Another hobby I have is collecting Western toys from the 40’s and 50’s,” he said, and listed Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and Hopalong Cassidy as favorites.

“I collect them and sell some of them,” he said.

“Mary Jo and I were invited to the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in California,” he said. “We met them at the party which was at the Roy Rogers Museum when it was in Victorville, Calif.”

Prior to his retirement, Cherry worked in construction and was later was assistant manager at Blain’s Farm &Fleet in Geneseo for 20 years.

He was out for track and competed in the high jump, mile run and two-mile relay when he was a student at Geneseo High School. He graduated in 1957, and he and his wife

Mary Jo are parents to two sons, Mark (Karen) Cherry, Anthony, FL, and Mick (Teresa) Cherry, Geneseo; five grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.