The first time Ian Millar competed in the Olympics, gasoline cost an average of 36 cents a gallon, crowds were flocking to see "The Godfather" in movie theaters and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" topped Billboard's rock charts.
[Photos: London 2012 Opening Ceremony]
Millar, a Canadian show jumper, has participated in the equestrian competition at every Olympics since 1972 except for the 1980 Moscow Games that Canada boycotted. The 65-year-old will make his record-breaking 10th Olympic appearance in London, eclipsing the nine trips Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl made from 1964 to 1996.
"It's a great thrill to be doing this for the 10th time," he told the Associated Press earlier this month. "I never had a grand plan. It was all about the journey because the destination is, at best, very uncertain as it is in life."
Why would Millar still be competing when he's more than three times as old as some of the other Team Canada members he walked alongside during Friday's Opening Ceremony? Well, the major reason is he feels he's still getting better.
Millar won a silver medal at the 2007 Pan-American Games, placed in the top 25 in the individual competition at the past two Olympics and helped lead Canada to a silver medal in the team competition at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
"I have so much more experience [now], so much more knowledge and my capabilities are so much higher," Millar told Canoe.ca earlier this month. "Therefore, my chances of success are way greater."
[Related: Canada's Olympians have ambitious goals]
Canada is not one of the favorites to medal this year in the team competition, so Millar will probably have to surprise in the individual side to contend for his second-ever Olympic medal. He'll ride a horse called "Star Power," a fitting name for one of the few jumpers in a little-known sport to achieve fame in his home country.
Millar's nickname in equestrian circles is "Captain Canada," but he did not have the honor of carrying the Canadian flag during the Opening Ceremony. Perhaps officials from Team Canada opted to save that for 2016 because they assume Millar will be back for Olympics No. 11.
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