2014 – The Year in Sports Geezerhood


Yuichiro Muira knows how it feels to be on top of the world. Three times he knows. Three times he’s climbed Mt. Everest, the latest, last year at age 80. His other two ascents were at ages 70 and 75.

Did you catch his age? Muira remembers when the first person scaled Mt. Everest, Sir Edmond Hillary. Only in those days, Muira says, Edmond wasn’t a Sir and he wasn’t even a Hillary, yet, merely a Molehillary. According to Muira, whenever Edmond climbed Everest, not only was he knighted, his status was elevated to Hillary.

Sure, he’s kidding. Muira, the Godfather of extreme skiing, is like that. Young skiers listening to the Godfather are often heard to say “Fuji once, shame on me. But, Fuji twice, shame on Muira-son.”

Yes, Muira did ski Mt. Fuji. Also, he skied several other mountains including Everest where he descended from an altitude of 26,246 feet in 1970, dropping 1280 vertical meters in two-and-one-half minutes, a record at the time. Check out the video “The Man Who Skied Down Everest.”

Are you with me? Let’s promote geezerhood and the Kathmandu attitude (altitude?). Age is no hinder to Muira. He’s skied down the highest mountains in each of the seven continents, even after having three heart operations. It’s in his blood, you could say, since his dad, Keizo, skied down Mont Blanc at age 99.

“Not so fast, youngster,” says Gus Andreone of Sarasota, Florida. “Can you golf your age, Mr. Muira? When the last time you scored a hole in one?”

We don’t know if that’s fair but it’s pretty hard to golf your age. Muira would have to shoot an 81. Andreone is smiling because last week he sank a hole-in-one (his eighth of his career, one for each decade he’s been golfing) to become the oldest person ever, at age 103, to sink a hole-in-one.

Did Gus Andreone golf his age? Of course. He obliterated it. In the round where he shot the hole-in-one he scored an 83 on an 18 hole 4600 yard course. Sports geezerhood exists both in the high altitudes and in the swamplands.

“Hey, whippersnappers, can you bowl your weight?” says Gene Scala of Jericho, New York. Okay, bowling your weight and golfing your age are both difficult items. Although bowling your weight might be an easier task. Gene Scala was doing it consistently at age 107. Actually, Scala, has the distinction of being the oldest league bowler ever. Evar! I’m trying to approximate a Long Island accent.

Scala always arrived on Wednesdays at the Leisure Seniors League by taxi, wearing a hand decorated shirt. Yeah, we can call it a leisure suit. But don’t worry, Scala won’t be heading to a job interview.

So, you see, the sporty geezers are everywhere. Sports geezerhood exists in high altitudes, swampy swamplands AND in the dark alleys of Long Island. Lonk Gi-land.

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