One of the most versatile athletes at the New Mexico Senior Olympics is Jack Pardee of Albuquerque. Pardee participated in the maximum of 10 sports at the 2001 games in Las Cruces, New Mexico, including cycling, shot, discus, javelin, swimming and airgun events. He holds two senior pistol-standing records. His most successful events are in cycling, however; he holds nine cycling records.
Pardee has always enjoyed sports and the outdoors. He ran on his high school track team and played college football. Afterward he stayed active in swimming, jogging and cycling.
A mining engineer, Pardee lived in Peru for two years in the fifties. He moved to Albuquerque in 1968. A three-hour uphill commute to work each day on a bicycle helped keep him fit. Later, as a forest service employee who investigated minerals claims, he spent a lot of time traveling on public lands. When he retired, he volunteered with the Sandia Ranger District and the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation building trails, planting trees, and repairing fences.
Jack has also volunteered with the Special Olympics program and as a teacher of National Rifle Association gun safety classes. Lately he has cut back on his volunteer schedule to make time for more reading and attend his granddaughter's soccer games. Soft-spoken Pardee said he enjoys the camaraderie of the New Mexico Senior Olympics. "I like the interaction with other people." But he isn't in it just to make friends; when asked which is his favorite part of the games, he answered. "I enjoy the competitiveness." And he said he plans to continue just as long as he feels good about it. We hope he keeps feeling good about it for a long while yet.