Press Release: 73-year-old athlete honored for work promoting fitness at any age

Jody Kelly with AGE Board Members
Jody Kelly, center, with AGE Board Members, Richard Sansbury and King Cole.

73-year-old Jody Kelly, grandmother, triathlete and entrepreneur, will be honored with the 2012 the Rose Professional Spirit Award. Kelly is best known as the oldest contestant to ever participate in CBS’s hit reality show “The Amazing Race.” She has completed dozens of triathlons, and runs a personal training business for seniors. Kelly will be recognized at the 18th annual AGE Award Dinner on April 20, 2012 at The Renaissance Hotel.

“‘No’ is not in Jody’s vocabulary,” says Joyce Lauck, executive director of AGE. “She inspires people of all ages to take charge of their health and dare to achieve their goals. Jody is an inspiration and we are honored to call her a 2012 AGE Award honoree.”

Kelly did not always lead such an active lifestyle. After earning her Ph.D. in English Literature from Duke University, she joined IBM as a technical writer. Kelly describes herself as a former “couch potato,” who first became interested in fitness to help her mother maintain her strength. Together, the pair began strength training, and even wrote “Feeling Good: Strength Training with Your Significant Elder,” the first guide for older adults and their caregivers to do the same. This passion became her second career, and she now owns Strengthmobile, a personal training program that helps older adults maintain strength to prevent falls and remain independent.

In 2008, at age 70, Kelly decided to do something “crazy,” and she entered the Danskin Triathlon in Austin. Alongside her daughter and granddaughter who also competed, Kelly swam ½ mile, biked 12 miles, and ran 3 miles. Since then, she has competed dozens of times, and was invited to compete in the Amazing Race along with her granddaughter. Though they did not win, they travelled to Chile, and Kelly outpaced many of the younger competitors. Currently, Kelly is a member of Team USA, competing as far as France and Hungary, and has brought home several medals on behalf of the United States.

The 2012 AGE Awards Dinner celebrates Central Texans who make the community a better place for older adults and people with disabilities. Past honorees include The Hon. Gus Garcia, Jackie Leong, Susan Merrick, The Hon. Jake Pickle, The Austin-American Statesman, and more. The event will be at the Renaissance Austin Hotel on April 20, 2012. Photo and video opportunities are available.

AGE (Austin Groups for the Elderly) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that has been serving Austin’s elderly, their families, and caregivers since 1986.  Our programs include the Austin Computer Learning Center, the Caregiver Resource Center, Elderhaven Adult Day Centers of Central Texas, HELP (Health Equipment Lending Program), New Connections, and the Historic AGE Building. Visit our website at www.ageofaustin.org.

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