Leon Joslin held the world record in the discus for his age when he was 78, 79 and 81. Now 95, he wants...
Leon Joslin held the world record in the discus for his age when he was 78, 79 and 81.
Now 95, he wants that record back.
Trouble is, it’s held by a Louisianan who’s tossed 52 feet 4 inches.
So three times a week, weather permitting, Joslin practices — and sometimes exceeds the current record.
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Trouble is, it only counts during a sanctioned meet.
Being an athlete is nothing new for him. In 1930, he was captain of the basketball team at South High in Grand Rapids, Mich. Wearing leather helmets with no face guards, he played alongside former President Gerald Ford on the school’s state-championship football team — the left end on both offense and defense. At the Ohio State University, he was on the freshman team with future Olympian Jesse Owens, who burned up the cinder track.
He stayed in contact with Jerry Ford for 75 years, and two years ago the president called him to say, “You and I are the only ones left of the 1930 team.”
Now, it’s only Leon.
At 5 foot 10, he’s a lean 145 pounds. There’s no special diet or regimen, except he’s always in bed by 10 p.m. and does 15 to 20 minutes of regular treadmill work.
Unlike most 95-year-olds who “are sleeping most of the time,” Leon still has competitive goals. “I have to push myself all the time,” he says, “even when it’s not really fun.”
And what about that record-holder from Louisiana?
“He’s quite muscular. Don’t know what he’s eating. But I think I can beat that old guy.”