Don Pellman

Don Pellmann is like no other 100-year-old before him, athletically speaking. He proved as much at San Diego's Senior Olympics, where Pellmann became the first person 100 years or older to run the 100-meter dash in under 27 seconds.

And that's only one of his accomplishments at the event. In total, Pellmann set five world records for his age group. That haul also set the record for most world records broken in a day.

Physically speaking, Pellmann is something of a marvel. As The New York Times reports, he wasn't much of an athlete in his life. Growing up, he had been a gymnast and a long-jumper, but he gave up his college athletics career to get a job during the Great Depression.

"I guess I have pretty good genes," he told the NYT.

Only well into his retirement did he start competing in athletics again. At the Senior Olympics meet, Pellmann refused to stretch before competing.

A nurse assisting him had trouble getting him to drink water, which he avoided because he didn't want the extra weight to bog him down.

In the long jump, he limited himself to one attempt -- at 5 feet, 10 inches -- to conserve his energy. He made that jump, setting another record.

One of his hearing aids had malfunctioned that day, which also made the experience a little more miserable, even as Pellmann earned unprecedented achievements.

He became the oldest man in history -- by a measure of nine years -- to record a successful jump in the pole vault. But Pellmann's inability to clear the bar at 3-feet, 1 1/4 inches ate away at him despite his world record.

"This is the worst day I've had in months," Pellmann said. "I'm sorry about that pole-vault disaster."

Even after he had successfully set five world records, Pellmann didn't seem thrilled about his performance -- he merely accepted the results and was ready to go home.

Said Pellmann: "I've had enough."

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