70-Year-Old Hiroshi Hoketsu Qualifies for London Olympics

| by Alex Groberman

Hiroshi Hoketsu, 70, is no stranger to breaking records and defying general expectations about what people can do when they get up there in age.  

A little less than four years ago, in 2008, the Japanese equestrian became his country’s oldest Olympic competitor when he participated in the Beijing games at age 67. (He would go on to finish ninth overall in the ’08 games.) This past Thursday at an international dressage meet in France, Hoketsu -- who may or may not actually compete in the next Olympics -- officially qualified to take part in London’s festivities by winning the meet outright.  

For what it’s worth, Japanese equestrians appear to have the leg up when it comes setting the nation’s record Olympic age marks. Before Hoketsu did what he did in 2008, Kikuko Inoue held the record for oldest Japanese athlete to participate in the Olympics for his work at age 63.

As impressive as Hoketsu’s feat is, it isn’t all-time great. To date, nobody has managed to usurp the “oldest Olympian ever” spot that Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn captured in 1920 at age 70. And he didn’t just participate those games, Swahn actually won a silver medal in the process.

For those that are sort of unfamiliar with what equestrians actually do (most people), check out some old clips of Hoketsu handling business below:

(Kudos to Yahoo! Sports for the find)

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