Someone You Should Know: A lifetime of competing
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - You won’t find a more fierce competitor then 82-year old Howard Bich.
“To me, it’s extremely important to stay active your whole life. My motto. I’d rather rust out than wear out,” said Howard.
“I have decided that his middle name at least should be sports. Howard Bich, Howard Sports Bich. It’s been one sport after another,” said Howard’s wife Arlene.
The farm boy from Yale, South Dakota, who had a hall of fame basketball career at Augustana, has been competing in the senior games since he became eligible in 1996.
“Still my favorite is probably basketball, even though I can’t play very well any more. After that are the track and field events. I try to do all the throwing events and all the jumping events yet. I try to run, but i can’t run well anymore because I’ve got this bad leg. But I still try. And I love pickleball. This is kind of the new sport on the block. I picked that up, and that’s really fun to play,” said Howard
“He really has had a passion about it. I haven’t put a damper on it. Been a number one fan,” said Arlene.
“My wife has been a big part of me being successful, and it takes a good woman behind you to put with all of the stuff I’ve done in my life.”
Since 2014, Howard has been the state’s executive director of the Senior Games. A position he’s stepping away from.
“It’s fun. It’s kind of a challenge because it’s you have to organize all the little details, because we conduct twenty-one sports. And you have to set everything up so it’s ready to run,” said Howard.
Howard was used to leading, after spending 40-years as a teacher and coach, most of those in Wagner. And he won’t be done competing anytime soon.
“My idol is kinda Don Phillips, who’s the big athlete in the 90 and over division actually in the world. And I want to be like him when i’m 90. And I still would like to compete and stay active as long as I can,” said Howard.
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