Hockey may be a physically gruelling sport to some, but for 96-year-old Mark Sertich, the game continues to be a vital part of his lifestyle.
Residing in Duluth, Minnesota, Sertich has been classified by Guinness World Records as the planet’s oldest ice hockey player. Sertich participates in two to three pick-up games per week, suiting up and skating alongside a collection of much younger individuals.
“I’ve been playing hockey my whole life,” said Sertich in an interview with Minnesota Monthly.
Apart from his love for hockey, what has kept Sertich on the ice is a combination of excellent genetics, a focused diet, as well as a regular exercise routine.
“I’ve tried to stay in shape from an early age, but longevity runs in the family,” relayed Sertich, noting that his mother lived to 88 and one of his sisters is now 93.
In terms of diet and exercise, Sertich is a big fan of a breakfast consisting of sausage, eggs and toast with peanut butter. To stay strong and limber for his games, Sertich does pushups, sit-ups and various stretches. He even continues to shovel his own sidewalk and mow his lawn.
Sertich also has a wonderful support system around him, with 40+ grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren. Of course, his fellow hockey players prove also to be quite a motivational force.
“I’ve always said that hockey players are the greatest bunch of athletes there are,” noted Sertich. “These guys are special. Of course, I have learned some bad habits from them, too.”
So how long will Sertich keep his stick on the ice?
“I’m not going to look too far ahead, but I’m hoping to play hockey at 100,” he said. “It’s all a question of whether you’re optimistic or negative, as far as your brain’s ability to operate your body.”
Recently on “theZoomer,” a number of Dryden’s Team Canada ’72 teammates – including Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich and Yvan Cournoyer – joined host Marissa Semkiw to reflect on the legendary Summit Series tournament. You can watch that episode below!