80-year-old Revelstokian smashes national track and field records

Practicing shot put. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)


Marek Glowacki proves age is no barrier for setting national sport records.

The 80-year-old Revelstokian shattered two Canadian records at a track and field event last month in Vernon for the masters division.

One was in shot put with a distance of 11.63 metres and the other in throws pentathlon, compiling 4,086 points.

For Glowacki, the results are another chapter in a lengthy athletics career that saw him compete for many years in his native Poland in the 1960s.

Growing up, Glowacki was one of the top track and field athletes in Poland. He paused from competing in 1969, becoming a high school teacher.

Life in Poland was difficult, said Glowacki. Even though, both his wife and him had good jobs teaching, buying essentials like butter, bread and meat was a struggle. At the time, the government in Poland was communist/military. The country was on the verge of economic and civil collapse with fears of a Soviet invasion.

In 1981, when the Glowackis were finally approved for passports, the family left Poland. They settled in Canada for the skiing, arriving on Halloween in Edmonton.

Glowacki said he had never heard of the holiday.

“People were running around with masks on. I wondered if there was another upheaval here also.”

Glowacki became head coach of the University of Alberta track and field team. The highlight was winning the national championship in 2001. He has also held nine different records in Canada.

READ MORE: Marek Glowacki wins gold at World Masters Athletic Championships

For 13 years, Glowacki’s wife battled kidney cancer. Eventually, doctors gave her a year to live. So, the two decided to move into the mountains in 2009 for the final days.

Glowacki has travelled the world for track and field competitions. Yet, he finds Revelstoke the best place to live.

“It has the best water, right from the tap,” he said.

“I will rest here to the end.”

Glowacki’s son and grandchildren also reside in Revelstoke.

Track and field is the foundation of most sports, Glowaski said. It’s all running and throwing weight.

“It’s based on natural movement.”

And it’s cheap to get into as all that’s needed is shoes. Track and field is one of the oldest sports, dating back to ancient Greece.

Glowacki plans to keep competing, although he said it’s getting harder. Particularly on his back.

“I enjoy it, but my body doesn’t,” he said.

Doctors said if he stops throwing weight, he might be pain free.

“But I like to throw. It makes me very happy.”

Glowacki said his philosophy is once athletes reach the age of 75, it’s all about survival of the fittest.

“All you got to do is outlive your opponents. Then, you are the best,” he said with a chuckle.