Hiroshi Hoketsu, age 71, of Germany, as he rode Whisper out on to the sand of the Greenwich Park equestrian arena is no newcomer to Olympic competition. He was in Tokyo in 1964 and in Beijing in 2008. Whisper has been his partner for 15 years.
He had come to London to compete and, hopefully, to win. What motivates him? “Probably the biggest motivation for me [is to] feel I’m improving,” he said. “I think if I feel, ‘OK, I’m getting worse than before,’ I will stop.” Whisper may soon whisper in his ear. She has bad legs and tendinitis, and a growing phobia against big electronic screens.
But for now, they make quite a pair – and have turned more than a few heads toward the possibilities of aging .