Meet Hiroshi Hoketsu – Horseman and Hope for Old Men Eyes 2020 Olympic Games
Over fifty years after Hiroshi Hoketsu first took the world stage at the 1964 Olympics, this Japanese Equestrian isn’t just horsing around. He now holds the record – as of the 2012 London Olympic Games – as oldest Olympian ever to compete for Japan, and third oldest worldwide.
He shares the distinction with shooter Oscar Swan of Sweden who won the 1920 Olympics and Arthur Von Pongracz who competed in Dressage at 72, Hiroshi’s sport, in the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.
Though the Road to Rio wasn’t in the cards for Hiroshi due to his horse’s health, he’s already eyeing the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for his best in show. According to an interview he gave Reuters, when he had to bow out of the 2012 Games, he shared this,
“If I can do it and be in Tokyo, that would be marvelous. Four years from now I will be 79 and I have to see if it will still be physically possible”.
Now that’s a homecoming!
Check out this video of his 2012 London Olympic Games attempt. He came in 17 of 24.
Not bad for a guy in his 70's! And watch for his return as he pushes 80 in the 2020 Olympics.
For many, Olympics is not only their dream, but in preparation, it is their life. Yet, Hiroshi Hoketsu didn’t begin competing internationally until his early 60s, when he retired from his pharmaceutical executive role. It is around this time, he chose to make his home in Germany. From there he moved from show-jumping to dressage, and is affectionately nicknamed, “Hope for Old Men” in Asian media. Life has its stops and starts, its setbacks, and its successes, and Hiroshi takes it all in stride.
His personal slogan is,
"I will stop riding horses when I can no longer find progress from myself and my horse."
But, to come full circle back to Tokyo in the 2020 Olympic Games? His career will come full circle, a completion, or a new jumping off point for a man who knows age is a number, not a state of mind.
We are discovering more and more remarkable older adults. There will not be enough time to catalogue them all but we will keep going and finding people and tactics that will help Older Adults live a better life.
With advancements in modern medical technology, the rise of healthy living at every age, and a new lease on life for independent seniors, we have more time than ever to connect with our elders. We all have goals, aspirations, family and expectations, and we are constantly on the lookout for stories to inspire and drive us. Life doesn’t end at 65, 70 or even 100 for that matter. For some, over 60 is only the beginning.
Are you 65 or older and have an amazing story to tell? We want to hear from you. We want to hear stories about seniors that break the mould, think Edith-Wilma Connor 83-year old competitive bodybuilder and Guiness Book of World Record holder. Or maybe someone like Hiroshi Hoketsu, oldest athlete in the 2012 London Olympic Games, now eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as an Equestrian. These are just a few ideas to get you started.
Do you know any amazing older adults that we can feature on our Blog? Let us know in the comments below.