Wed, May 30, 2012 - Page 17 News List

Japan goes bananas for 71-year-old horseman

A rider in a traditional outfit points his finger while he sits on a decorated horse last Sunday in a village in the Czech Republic.

Photo: AFP

Japanese dressage rider Hiroshi Hoketsu looks and dresses more like a soccer manager in his early fifties than the world’s oldest Olympian at 71 years old.

Meet the Benjamin Button of this year’s London Olympics.

A national celebrity, Hoketsu greets you with a firm handshake, his sharp wit and fierce determination striking you immediately.

“I don’t know how you’re supposed to feel at 71,” Hoketsu told Reuters in an interview on April 12, sitting bolt upright in a jacket and yellow tie.

“I have the same physique as I had at university,” added the German-based rider, who first competed for Japan as a 23-year-old show jumper at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Whippet-thin at 168cm tall and 62kg, Hoketsu steers clear of German food as much as possible.

“I cook four times a week and avoid oily food,” he said. “I don’t eat many sausages.”










1. go bananas v. phr.

變得瘋狂 (bian4 de2 feng1 kuang2)

例: The man just went bananas when his daughter told him she wanted to drop out of school.


2. upright adj.

筆挺的 (bi2 ting3 de5)

例: That elderly woman has an upright posture.


3. steer clear of v. phr.

避免 (bi4 mian3)

例: I try to steer clear of heavy meals these days.


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