Meet the world’s oldest active hockey player: Mark Sertich, or “Serti.”
At 96-years-old, Sertich moves like he’s in his 20s on the ice, undoubtedly one of his favorite pastimes. The native of Duluth, Minnesota goes to the rink about three times a week, lacing up his skates, taking to the ice, and competing with his fellow ice hockey players. As the Today Show reports, those who play on the ice with Serti, including his grandson, call him a constant source of inspiration.
Serti, who will be celebrating his 97th birthday this summer, is even documented in the Guinness Book of World Records. Born in July, 1921, Serti served his country in World War II. He fought under General George S. Patton at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 – January 1945. Following the war, Serti moved into his Duluth home, where he and his family have lived for decades.
When asked why he likes to play hockey, Serti simply replied, “It’s a great game.”
“People who are involved in it are special,” he added. Fellow players say Serti still brings a constant threat to any of the leagues goalkeepers and say he could continue playing until he’s 100. Besides his age, Serti is widely recognized by his signature handlebar mustache.
And, when asked if the 96-year-old gets in any fights, he laughingly said that the other players were scared of him.
“I’ve had a good life,” Serti reflects. “My wife and I have seven children, they are good people and I am proud of them.”
Check it out:
At 96 years old, Mark Sertich is the world’s oldest hockey player. And he has no plans of slowing down! (via Today Show)
Posted by WGRZ – Channel 2, Buffalo on Monday, April 23, 2018
“He just wants to keep going forever,” a colleague said of the hockey legend.
Loved seeing Duluth’s own Mark Sertich featured on the @TODAYshow this morning. At 96 years old, this WWII veteran is recognized as the oldest living hockey player in USA. #DuluthProud #Inspirational pic.twitter.com/ecjtfpbweW
— Daniel Fanning (@DanielFanning) April 22, 2018
The oldest ice hockey player is Mark Sertich (USA, b. 18 July 1921), who is 96 years old. pic.twitter.com/4FoDgWgTdW
— BlackhawkBob27 (@Bob27Blackhawk) April 22, 2018
— Sville Youth Hockey (@STVYouthHockey) April 23, 2018
— Minnesota Hockey (@MinnHockey) November 10, 2017
— Jordie 🔵 (@BarstoolJordie) May 4, 2017
Here’s more on Serti, from a special last year:
And, per Duluth News Tribune:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
As the world’s oldest hockey player, Mark Sertich is undaunted by challenges — even the challenge of being filmed for a commercial.
“It was fun,” the 95-year-old West Duluth man said this week. “It was a 12-hour day from 7 in the morning to 7 at night.”
Sertich, who plays hockey at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center, will be featured in a commercial filmed by the Mother London ad agency for Nokia, the Finnish communications company, according to Shari Olson, administrative assistant at the Heritage Center.
The crew filming the commercial was in town for three days last week, Sertich said, spending most of their time at the Heritage Center but also traveling to other sites. On the rink, they filmed Sertich, a World War II veteran who served under Gen. George Patton, skating with much younger men.
“It was a unity thing between different generations,” Sertich said of the commercial’s theme. “They kind of wanted to have younger people together with the older.”