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O’Hara acknowledged his age is a factor, including from a curiosity standpoint, but refused to use it as an excuse. Even his daughter Jelisa, a student at Santa Clara University in California, “and her buddies think it’s pretty amazing and pretty humorous that old Dad is going to be racing on the big screen,” said O’Hara.
“There’s still guys in the Battle of the Paddle that are still placing in the top 20, and they’re in their late 30s to early 50s,” he said. “But there aren’t many. I’ll be the oldest guy in this event. You’ll have guys in their early 40s who are still very competitive, but once you get up to my age and above, it’s tougher.”
O’Hara said he’d like to keep racing for another five years or so, but then, contemplating the world championships, added with a laugh: “Maybe the night this is over, that’ll be it. I might have a couple of pints, and call it a day.”
Brion O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.