Rio 2016? No match for 98-year-old Hungarian Olympian

LONDON, August 8. ALEX Tarics, aged 98, is the oldest Olympic champion in the world. Nearing the century mark didn't stop him from watching his Hungarian countrymen battle for their fourth consecutive Olympic water polo title this week in London.

Tarics, who turns 99 in September, won gold in the 1936 Olympic Games as a member of the Hungarian water polo team.

Although Tarics watched the Hungarians win gold in Beijing 2008, the team failed to proceed past the quarterfinals this week in London, losing 11-9 against Italy.

“Even the greatest series have to end sometimes,” he said. “Still, these guys are the best players in the world, and Hungary have quite a few talented players, so in Rio (2016) we will come back.”

Taric plans to attend Rio, supporting (and possibly sporting) the red, white and green, Hungary's national colors.

“Why not?” he said. “It's not a matter of being more than 100 years old. It's a matter of being fit and I'm fit enough.”

Age doesn't seem to be slowing this Olympian down, as he managed the flight to London from San Francisco, where he has been living since 1948. And although he uses a walking stick, he was well into his nineties before retiring his tennis racket, and still swims “a couple of times a week.”

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