2009 Champions

Champions by Year

Dwight Smith

"Desire, determination and dedication—that’s what I’ve had all my life.”

“Desire, determination and dedication—that’s what I’ve had all my life.”

On August 8, 2009, at the age of 80, Dwight Smith led the Louisiana Tigers to win the silver medal in basketball at the U.S. National Senior Olympics. Dwight scored over 100 points during the seven-game series held in California at Stanford University, contributing the most blocks, steals, assists and rebounds for his team. He did all this while defending against the opponent’s top scorer. Dwight’s achievement is even more impressive in that he only picked up the sport at age 63.

That and the fact that he lost one eye during a game four years ago and now functions with a limited field of vision. You might well ask how someone picks up a new sport at age 63, loses sight in one eye and wins a national championship at age 80. Dwight Smith’s accomplishments are proof that it is indeed possible. But the secret to Dwight’s success is not a magic potion or silver bullet. The answer is one of life’s basic lessons – practice. Simply stated, the more you do something, the better you will become at doing it.

Dwight hits the hoops two hours every weekday during lunch breaks from the business he runs in Baton Rouge. He also plays on weekends and supplements his basketball practice with weight training at the gym. With energy and enthusiasm that seem boundless, Dwight frequently competes with men decades younger. His dedication and steadfast determination to succeed have been rewarded with numerous medals and awards at local, regional and national competitions.

Dwight Smith exemplifies the notion that anything is attainable if you want it badly enough and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to get there. The journey might be difficult but Dwight never doubted his ability to succeed because, throughout his life, he had proven to himself that practice makes perfect. And thankfully, he continues to prove that to the rest of us.

Dwight Smith… Peoples Health Champion.