New record: World's Oldest Luge Rider - 101 years of age

Date: 30 May 2017

Rotorua's John Bond has broken his own record after becoming the oldest person to ride the luge at Skyline Rotorua.

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Not a lot can faze Mr Bond, who will turn 101 on May 30.

He's lived through two World Wars, fighting in one of them, and said he had ridden the luge at Skyline Rotorua when he was 99.

According to Skyline Rotorua general manager Bruce Thomasen, Mr Bond is the oldest person known to have ridden on any of Skyline's luge rides around the world.

Mr Bond and his wife Maisey, who is 98 in August, were given a surprise early birthday after his friend Bob McNab told Mr Thomasen of his milestone.

"We've hosted close to 18 million luge rides here in Rotorua," Mr Thomasen said.

"The youngest we've had down the luge was 6 and when John came up a few years ago he broke the record for the oldest rider at 99.

"We'd be quite happy for John to keep coming up and breaking his own record as long as he can."

Mr Thomasen shouted the Bonds and Mr McNab to lunch, luge rides and an annual Skyline pass, but Mrs Bond declined the invitation to ride the luge.

"It's nice to celebrate such champions of our community," Mr Thomasen said.

Mr Bond said he enjoyed visiting Skyline and was always up for an adventure.

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"I have no intention on leaving this earth precipitously.

"I thought I could have gone a bit faster, but I think Bruce was holding me up and didn't want to pass him by.

"But it's a lot of fun and I can see why so many people enjoy the activity. I hope I can come back next year and break my record once again."

Mrs Bond said the couple both still had driver's licences and only needed glasses for reading.

"When you get to this age people like to do nice things for you, it's lovely getting these sorts of surprises."

But, she said she was not too happy with her husband's choice of clothing on the day after he decided to wear his old gardening cardigan.

"After almost 76 years of marriage you learn it's good to compromise."


Published on New Zealand Herald.

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