Guinness World Records - Officially Amazing

Harry Nelson – the 90-year-old who has attended an incredible 18 Olympic Games - video


Harry Nelson is 90-years-old, comes from Torrence, California, and holds the record for the Most Summer Olympics attended, having incredibly been a spectator at every Games since 1932, (except for Berlin in 1936).

Harry, a former University of Los Angeles administrator, first caught the Olympics bug at the age 10 after he and his brother were given tickets for the equestrian at the Los Angeles Games in 1932.

"At age 10, something called the Olympics had come to Los Angeles where we lived. I didn't know what that was but, of course, as time went by, we understood," he recalls.

Over the course of his life, Harry has made many a sacrifice to ensure he has made it to an astonishing 18 Olympic Games, from selling his car in order to make to Helsinki in 1952, to delaying his honeymoon by a year to coincide with a trip to Melbourne in 1956.

Harry's wife Delores "Dee" Nelson, 79, has kept him company during most of the Olympic trips since they wed, although the 1980 Games was one adventure she didn't share with him, with Harry boldly attending, despite a U.S. boycott and a letter from the then-President Jimmy Carter discouraging him from going.

"To me, I really believe the Olympic Games helps bring countries together, not in a professional sense but in terms of the honour of competing. I think conflict would be avoided if people just took the trouble to get to know each other", he explains.

Harry, who is able to compare his visit to London this year to the "austerity Games" that took place in the UK capital in 1948, has been impressed with the organisation and atmosphere of the 2012 Games, having attended the first day of track and field along with taking in some men's Volleyball. Harry wryly laughs when he says his only complaint this time around has been the amount of stairs he had to climb to get to his seat at the Olympic Stadium.

Will Harry go to Rio? He's unsure: "At 90 you don't know what tomorrow will bring. I tell youngsters, you've got to make the most of every day. Be the best you can, you only go through life once."

You can read more about Harry's amazing Olympic love affair in his self-published book "Following the Flame: A 76-Year Olympic Journey."

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