Hundred-Year-Old Athlete Beats Five World Records
Hundred-year-old Don Pellmann has always been athletic. As a teenager, he was an avid gymnast and high jumper, until the Great Depression cut his athletic career short. For decades, Pellmann worked a full-time job, took care of his family, and put his athletic dreams aside. But after he retired in the 1970s, he started training again.
Nowadays, Pellmann spends his ample free time exercising and training for meets—and his hard work has paid off. On September 20, Pellmann competed in the San Diego Senior Olympics. Not only was he the oldest person participating, but he broke five world records for his age group.
According to the Times of San Diego, Pellmann broke records in the long jump, high jump, 100-meter dash, shot put, and discus events. Though participants and spectators at the event were impressed by his accomplishments, Pellmann was critical of himself. When he failed to break the pole vault record, he ruefully told the New York Times, “I thought I was in better shape.”
But for the most part, Pellmann was in high spirits. He told the Times he was confident he’d be able to break the 100-meter record, explaining he’d been practicing the run on his street back home at least once a week. “I’ve done it in 26 seconds, so I should be able to break the world record,” he said. And then he did just that, coming in at 26.99 seconds.
With temperatures rising to the mid-90s, Pellmann spent his time between competitions relaxing in a lawn chair. According to the New York Times, he sported a t-shirt that read “Donald Pellmann Established 1915 Milwaukee, WI” and a pair of exceedingly beat-up old sneakers—which Pellmann was careful to note were “not quite as old” as him.
[h/t: New York Times]