And don’t think for a minute that it was on talent alone. The 71-year old equestrian had to focus on this goal in order to make it come true. For Hiroshi Hoketsu, according to Yahoo!, it has taken fanatical commitment, including not seeing his wife for over a year while he has trained in another country in the equestrian discipline of dressage.
Equestrian dressage, according to Wikipedia, is considered the highest expression of horse training, “where the rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement.” It has been referred to “horse ballet.”
In his own right, Hoketsu is somewhat of a celebrity in Japan, for both seniors and the sport. This is his third Olympics, having made his debut over 48 years ago, and then taking a long hiatus from the sport until qualifying for the Beijing Olympics after retiring from the business world and refocusing on what he loves.
He was as surprised as anyone to make the cut, but continues to use the discipline of rising at 5 a.m. and working out daily with the same energy as his competitors who are a third his age. And he claims to be improving every day, even though his body his weaker. The horse makes up the difference.
When asked to what does he attribute his good health and ability to compete, you’ll be happy to hear, he pointed to one thing: “Enjoying yourself and doing what makes you happy.”