This 100-year-old man makes breaking world records look easy

An athlete performs the High Jump at the Australian Junior Athletics Championships.
(Image credit: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

For most people, just living to 100 is the feat of a lifetime. But one 100-year-old didn't make it all the way to 100 just to lie around.

Don Pellmann, born in 1915, was a gymnast and high jumper before the Great Depression required him to get a job. Pellman appeared at the San Diego Senior Olympics last weekend to crush multiple athletic world records, The New York Times reports. In just a few hours, he broke the records in his age group for the 100-meter dash, shot-put, discus, high jump, and became the first centenarian to clear an official height in the high jump.

His secret? Depends whom you ask:

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While kneading the muscles in Pellmann's legs, [athletic trainer Ardy] Riego said, "All I can say is his body is still functioning like a normal person's body, which is amazing."Pellmann has not had either knee replaced, and he cannot remember his last injury. "I guess I have pretty good genes," he said.Gary MacDonald, the track and field commissioner of the San Diego Senior Olympics, suspects that there is more to Pellmann's athletic longevity than that. MacDonald poked his head into the training room to check on Pellmann and offer him a bottle of water, which Pellmann waved off."Now I know how he got to be 100," MacDonald said, laughing. "Because he has an attitude." [The New York Times]

Read the entire story of Pellmann's incredible day at The New York Times.

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Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange was the executive editor at She formerly served as The Week's deputy editor and culture critic. She is also a contributor to Screen Slate, and her writing has appeared in The New York Daily News, The Awl, Vice, and Gothamist, among other publications. Jeva lives in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.