87-Year-Old Speeds Into Racquetball Competition

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Racquetball is one of the more popular events at the World Huntsman Senior Games, and just like the games themselves, athletes come from across the nation and around the globe to the St. George Recreation Center to play the sport. However, very few of those racquetball athletes stand out like this one.

Ghandi once said, “There is more to life than just increasing its speed.” Well, if Ghandi would have known Bill Gencarella from San Clemente, California, he might have thought differently.

“When I first started out I had tremendous speed, they clocked me at 80 to 90 miles an hour. Therefore life was beautiful, but then, as I got older… like right now I doubt if I’m doing 30,” Gencarella said.

Life has been beautiful for the 87-year-old Gencarella, picking up the sport as a young boy and playing throughout his life– a life filled by raising a family, a career as a research chemist, and finally a successful business man. After all of that Gencarella still plays the sport he loves, despite age or injury.

“I tore both my shoulders, I cannot hit anything shoulder high nor over my head and they know it, the rascals,” he said.

Neither his age nor the injuries keep him from playing against the competition here at the Senior Games to the delight of spectators.

“I think he is amazing, he’s awesome. I don’t plan to live that long and he’s out here playing racquetball competitively, it’s really cool,” said spectator Janiel Anderson.

Gencarella, who still plays multiple times a day, was so anxious to warm up for his next match, he kindly cut our interview short as a nearby court opened up.

 “…There’s an empty court, let me go play a little, let me practice a little bit okay, will ya? Will that be okay? Let me practice,” said Gencarella.

 Clearly Bill Gencarella’s approach to life has not slowed down and it appears he has no intentions of letting it slow him down.