California seniors are flying through the air, dancing on a world stage, and picking up errant diplomas 83 years after walking with their class. Oh, and one of them made it into the Guinness Book of World Records! This month, we bring you three great stories of California seniors in the news!
Last summer, we told you about Betty Goadhart, a San Diego resident and former professional ice skater. She’d recently discovered trapezing and was visiting an Escondido trapeze facility four times a week! After Betty retired from skating, she dabbled in rock climbing and skydiving, too. Heights are definitely not one of her phobias! She started trapezing when she was 78, and when we ‘met’ her last year, had the flexibility, daring and strength that most of us dream about! This year, Betty learned that she would be in the 2019 Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest trapeze artist! She’s still flying through the air and has no plans to ground herself anytime soon. Congratulations, Betty! Fun fact: Frenchman Jules Léotard, an aerialist and acrobat, invented the art of trapeze performance in the mid-1800s. He developed the flying trapeze by swinging over his father’s swimming pool. And since France is always tres chic, the tight uniform of gymnasts everywhere is named after him!
California’s Golden State Warriors, the champion NBA team that plays in Oakland, CA, is recruiting a golden years dance team for their half-time shows. Two hundred ninety-nine women over age 55 auditioned on Saturday, September 8th, for twenty spots on the final co-ed roster. The team had such a good turnout that they’ve selected a larger ‘boot camp’ training roster of thirty-one dancers, which they’ll whittle down by September 14th. One of the women trying out on the 8th was Robyn Valdes, who was a member of the original Golden State Warriors dance team in 1985. According to the Warriors’ website, Robyn is one of the 31 dancers who was invited to the boot camp, so she may make history yet! You can see the photo gallery from Audition Day here, and enjoy the performances of the Senior Dance Team at home games in Oracle Arena during the 2018-2019 NBA season.
Last month, San Diego resident Bill Vogt finally received his diploma from San Diego State University. Picking up an errant diploma in August after missing it at graduation isn’t that unusual, so why the fuss? Bill is 105 years old, and he earned his diploma on February 1, 1935. SDSU moved to its current location in 1931, making Bill the last remaining student to have taken classes at SDSU’s original University Heights campus. He graduated in 1935, so the move doesn’t really explain what happened to his original diploma. He served in the Navy during World War II, Korea and Vietnam, so maybe the sheepskin was safer Stateside. It’s caught up to him now, and he’s putting it in pride of place on his wall. Be true to your school, Bill!