Most experienced Olympian in history retires at age 72
Canadian equestrian Ian Millar, who competed in a record 10 Olympics, retired from international show jumping competition at age 72 to to focus on coaching and developing young horses.
“Representing Canada many times over my career has been my greatest honor,” Millar said in a press release. “Each time I wore the red team jacket was very special to me, and the fact that I was able to share this experience with so many great riders is a testament to the quality of horsemen and horsewomen here in our country.
“It has been the journey of a lifetime with so many dreams realized, so much due to the fantastic horses I was blessed to ride, to whom I am eternally grateful.”
Millar, known as “Captain Canada,” competed in every Olympics from 1972 through 2012 (he was named to the 1980 Olympic team but didn’t compete due to a boycott), earning one medal, a team silver at Beijing 2008.
His Rio 2016 hopes were doomed when it was announced two months before the Games that his primary horse, Dixson, had undergone sinus surgeries and would be unavailable.
Millar’s daughter, Amy, made her Olympic debut in Rio at age 39, helping Canada to a fourth-place finish in the mixed jumping team event.
If Millar continued on and made the Tokyo Olympics, he would have broken the record for oldest Olympian, not counting art competitions. Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn was 72 at the 1920 Antwerp Games.
Latvian shooter Afanasijs Kuzmins and Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl each competed at nine Olympics, according to the OlyMADMen. Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze recently qualified for her ninth Olympic team in Tokyo.
Retired equestrian J. Michael Plumb holds the U.S. record of seven Olympic participations, which shooter Kim Rhode can tie in Tokyo.
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