Olympic Dressage at 71

By now we’ve all heard that Hiroshi Hoketsu, 71-year-old Japanese dressage rider, will be the oldest to compete in the London Games. But did you know he also show jumped in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics?

According to Asia Compact, “Sports help keep you young and Hiroshi Hoketsu”– a four-time qualifier for the Olympics (show jumping in 1964; dressage in 1988, 2008 and 2012)–“is the living proof”:

‘It’s almost a miracle,’ [Hoketsu] says. A senior citizen at the Olympic Games? But you don’t notice Hiroshi’s 71 years. The eyes are bright and alert; the black hair is only slightly gray; not an ounce of fat on his body. ‘Fortunately, my weight has never changed since I finished my studies. That was a big help to stay active in equestrian sports,’  he says, trying to explain why he is still a competitive sportsman. ‘I really don’t pay much attention to keeping my weight. I eat what I like.’ He says he was just born with a good constitution. His Dutch coach, Ton de Ridder, however, won’t let that stand. ‘Hiroshi is a perfectionist and very ambitious,’ he notes. ‘Mr Hoketsu lives a very healthy life, he is calorie conscious, exercises a lot, goes jogging and for walks. He does a lot for his success.’

Read the full story at dw.de.

Photo of Hoketsu aboard Whisper at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they placed 35th individually, via Wikimedia Commons.

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