70-Year-Old Olympian Proves It's Never Too Late to Go for the Gold

horseIf Betty White were a Japanese equestrian, she'd be Hiroshi Hoketsu. The 70-year-old veteran rider qualified for the London Olympics on Thursday -- that's right, the Olympics! And while there's no official word yet on whether or not Hoketsu will actually compete, it's still a fairly staggering athletic accomplishment. (The oldest Olympian ever, apparently, was Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, who was 72 when he won a silver medal in 1920.)

Hoketsu says it's a "miracle" that he made it this far, but it sounds more to me like the end result of years and years of training and hard work.

Not to mention a second, and perhaps last, chance at an Olympic medal ...


Hokestu became Japan's oldest Olympian when he competed in Beijing in 2008 at the age of 68. He finished ninth in the dressage team event and 35th in the individual competition. Prior to that, he also qualified for the 1988 Seoul Olympics but was forced to withdraw from the competition when his horse was quarantined.

Imagine how incredible it would be if Hokestu did compete in London ... and walked away with a medal?! (Dibs on the movie rights!) Talk about "it's never too late." Talk about inspirational!!

Seriously, it makes me want to take up a competitive sport. I mean, as long as I have until my 70s to make it to the Olympics.

Hmmm ... luge, perhaps?

Do you think Hiroshi Hoketsu should compete in the 2012 London Olympics?


Image via perry/Flickr

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