Don Pellman is the fastest senior citizen in the world. He ran the 100 meter race in record time, and went on to break a record in the high jump too. Then there is his pole vaulting expertise. Sergei Bubka watch out. The Santa Clara senior cleared 1.00 meters.
Admittedly, Olympian Usain Bolt of Jamaica ran the 100 meters in 9.578 seconds back in 2009, and Don Pellman ran it in 24.14.The difference, though, is 70 years. Don Pellman is 95 years old. His high jump was 0.99 meters—about 1,46 short of Javier Sotomayor’s 2.45 meters, but at 95, most people have a hard enough time getting out of bed. And Pellman’s feat is even more amazing when you consider that it is the equivalent of someone ages 20 to 30 jumping 2.497 meters (8 feet 2 inches). And Pellman also holds world records (for people his age) in shot put, discus, and javelin.
What’s his secret? Well, for one thing he doesn’t spend a lot of time playing Angry Birds on his iPhone. He prefers to exercise, and walks and takes the stairs whenever he can. But Pellman claims that the best exercise anyone can do is pushing themselves away from the table when they have had a full meal. In that sense, it’s a question of mind over matter.
The South Bay is famous for its professional sports teams, both the ones that currently play here and the ones that are on their way here. But there’s one amateur athlete who deserves the same attention—maybe more—because he is an inspiration. That’s Santa Clara’s Don Pellman.