For Tony Albrecht, winning medals has become somewhat of a norm the past couple of years.
The Portsmouth native who is retired from the former Portsmouth Receiving Hospital said he has always been active, all the way back to when he was activity director at the mental hospital. Now, at the age of 70, he takes pride in his competitive way, recently winning 17 medals at the Southern Ohio Senior Games held earlier this summer. He also went to Lexington, Ky. and brought home two more medals for a total of 19.
Albrecht said basketball is his passion, winning 3 gold medals in shooting competitions. He said he is no longer able to compete in one-one matches due to ankle injuries over the years, but said shooting is his passion, winning gold in Foul shooting, 3-point shooting and spot shooting, which he has won 3 years in a row.
“Basketball is my passion,” Albrecht said. “I enjoy playing basketball. Although I’m not able to play one-on-one much anymore. I take pride in foul shooting.” He said he often wonders how many professional basketball players miss a chance at the hall of fame because of their poor free throw shooting.
To stay sharp, Albrecht has his own basketball court at his home on Orizaba Lane in Portsmouth. He said he also goes to the Life Center and practices there.
In addition to to the basketball court, Albrecht has a game room at his home where he can practice his table tennis. If he does not have a partner to practice with, not a problem, he has a robotic machine to serve him up. He said he can program the robot for speed and spin to better get prepared for his upcoming opponents.
“I try to walk as much as I can.” Albrecht said in keeping in shape. He said he also spends a lot of time on the basketball court practicing his shooting skills. “I can hold my own in the shooting events.”
In the game room, Albrecht’s accomplishments are lined on the walls, with trophies, ribbons, and medals. He said many of the trophies were awarded in Columbus competitions. He also has exercise equipment, including a stationary bike that keeps him fit.
He said winning all the medals in the local competition qualifies him for the state events, but said he never goes to the state event.
He said things could be far different in his life now than what it is. Albrecht said he was in his garage attic and fell 13 feet to the concrete floor 5 years ago this past June. It injured his left shoulder to the point he now has a rod running from his shoulder to his elbow. Although this injury has kept him from competing in events such as the high jump, he said it could be much worse.
“I could have hit my head,” he said of the accident. “There’s not a day goes by that I’m not blessed. It could have been worse. ”
Albrecht said he and his wife Linda recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary saying “bottom line is she still likes me.”
Albrecht said the Life Center is a great community asset, saying the gym is a beautiful facility where he can go shoot when the weather is bad. He said it helps “keep me in shape.”