Greenspring resident Dr. Dick Ernst won a gold medal for his age group (75 - 79) in the 50-meter dash and the long jump, as well as a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash at the 2012 Virginia Senior Games this month. “I do it to stay in shape and to live longer,” said Ernst. “And I enjoy it!”
Ernst is no stranger to local, state, and national senior games. He first attended the National Senior Games in 1999 as a member of a seniors’ basketball team. Since then, he has attended numerous national games, as well as the Virginia Senior Games and the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.
Ernst spent 30 years as the President and CEO of , which now has six campuses across the northern region of the Commonwealth. During his tenure, Ernst received recognitions such as “Washingtonian of the Year” by Washingtonian Magazine and “CEO of the Year” by the Association of Community College Trustees.
Ernst retired in 1998 and moved to Greenspring in 2006. “Greenspring’s a great place to be,” said Ernst, who spends an hour each day working out in the community’s fitness center.
Ernst, who has won five state basketball championships in Virginia’s senior games, began competing in track & field events in 2011. In the 2011 Northern Virginia Senior Olympics, he received a gold medal and two silver medals for the 60-meter run, standing broad jump, and long jump.
Ernst participates in activities across Greenspring’s campus and in his local church’s traveling singing group, but always makes sure he sets aside time for exercise. “It can help to extend your life; it’s crucial to exercise as you age,” said Ernst. Ernst, who is 79, says he won’t mind competing in a new age group soon. “It’s always good to be the young guy!”
Ernst will compete in the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, next year.
About Greenspring: Greenspring, one of 16 Erickson Living full-service retirement communities, is situated on a scenic 108-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia. The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of which reside in the 1405 independent living units. Life at Greenspring offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.