John Horwath, who resides in the Village of Silver Lake, was named 2016 Florida Senior Games Male Athlete of the Year for his record-setting performance in archery.
The 94-year-old Horwath broke his own Compound Release record in the 90-94 age group with a score of 772, which was 35 points better than his 2014 record-setting score.
“I’m totally dumbfounded. I’m so shocked that I didn’t want to believe it,” Horwath said. “I had no idea. It was a long time coming. There are probably hundreds of others that deserve it more than I do, but I was always told not to turn down anything. I am going to enjoy the moment. After all of these years in softball and archery, maybe I deserve it.”
Horwath was the most experienced archer of the record number of 135 shooting at the 2016 Games.
He also set the Compound & Finger records in the 80-84 age group in 2003, the 85-89 age group in 2008 and the 90-94 age group in 2012. Of the three record-setting totals, his best Compound & Finger score came in 2012 an 825. Horwath also won gold medals at the 2009 National Senior Games in the 85-89 age group and in 2013 in the 90-94 age group.
“John Horwath is a fine, talented man who is an inspiration to everyone who knows him,” said Tim Austin, the Florida Senior Games and Sunshine State Games Archery Sport Director.
“His accomplishments at the Florida and National Senior Games have set records that will be very difficult to equal. John’s continued ability to shoot high, record scores is impressive. He celebrates his 95th birthday in July and gives us all a high standard to approach as we continue on in our quest for a better life.”
Horwath will be honored at the Governor’s Mansion April 20.
“It’s the first time I will go to the Governor’s Mansion,” Horwath said. “It is quite a shock. I am still not prepared for it.”
Horwath’s family is planning a tribute of their own.
“I’m excited. I have three boys who live in Alaska and they are all coming to see the old man,” Horwath said proudly.
Jupiter’s Kathy Petrillo was named the Female Athlete of the Year for her cycling performances.