Track, field success keeps BCM professor feeling young

Sept. 1, 2011

Center: Dr. Milan Jamrich
Center: Dr. Milan Jamrich

For Dr. Milan Jamrich, rediscovering an old passion has resulted in a healthy lifestyle and plenty of inspiration to maintain that lifestyle for years to come.

Jamrich, professor of molecular and cellular biology, participates in sporting events for athletes ranging in age from 35 to nearly 100. He recently competed in the World Masters Athletics Championship in Sacramento, Calif., where he won the gold medal in the high jump for the 60 to 64 age group with a jump of over 7 feet.

As a college student in Germany, Jamrich competed in track and field but quit competing in his late 20s. After 15 years, he got the urge to compete again and says it's a great way to stay motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"I'm the type of person who needs a goal to work toward so competing in track and field events helps me stay motivated to exercise," he said.

Dr. Milan Jamrich participating in the World Masters Athletics Championship
Dr. Milan Jamrich participating in the World Masters Athletics Championship

He trains for competitions by working out about four times a week, including strength training exercises, plyometics and of course, practicing the long jump.

The athletic events are not just a great way to stay in shape but they are also a social outlet. Jamrich says he has built friendships with other competitors over the years and enjoys catching up with them.

The World Masters Athletics Championship is held every two years. This year more than 4,000 people competed and 65 countries were represented.

"The events are good for me because sometimes I feel like I'm getting old. But then I go to the competitions and see people in their 90s who are still competing and I think, ‘there's no reason that can't be me.'"

At BCM, Jamrich's research is focused on determining the genes that cause abnormalities in eye development and eye disease in children.