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  • 93-Year-Old Hopes to Compete in 2016 Olympics -- ATRadio


    (ATR) Bill Guilfoil has played table tennis for 80 years.

    Bill Guilfoil, 93, could become the oldest-ever Olympian this year in Rio. (Overland Park Racquet Club)
    This year, the 93-year-old could become the oldest Olympian in the history of the Games.

    Speaking with Around the Rings, Guilfoil discussed his decision to participate in USA Table Tennis' open tryouts for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    "People ask me, 'Can you walk? Can you talk?' I feel like I'm in college," Guilfoil, who hails from the U.S. state of Kansas, told ATR.

    Having competed in table tennis and tennis internationally, Guilfoil said he decided a few years ago, "I gotta do something different." In 2012, Guilfoil lost in the first round of the London Olympic qualifiers.

    Now he is back for more. Guilfoil will participate in the trials for the 2016 Games Feb. 4–7 in Greensboro, N.C., from which the top four players advance to a North American qualifier set for April.

    He told ATR he has played table tennis since age 13 and is the owner of a lifetime USA Table Tennis membership. The Olympic trials are open to all members of USA Table Tennis who pay a fee.

    Guilfoil is also a tennis pro at the Overland Park Racquet Club in Kansas City, Kansas.

    The oldest competitor at the London Olympics was 71-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu, who participated in dressage for Japan. In 1912, Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn won a gold medal at the age of 64 years and 280 days at the Olympics in Stockholm.

    When asked what competing at an Olympic Games would mean to him, Guilfoil told ATR it is an "amazing feeling to compete for your country" on an international level.

    Click the SoundCloud link below for ATR's full interview with Bill Guilfoil. Also to see Guilfoil in action, view the video below this edition of ATRadio.

    Written and produced by Nicole Bennett

    Video credit: YouTube/KMBC 9 News Kansas City

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