60 cigarettes & glass of wine a day: Norway’s oldest man, 107, shares his secrets for long life
While the hunt for the fountain of youth continues, Norway’s newly-crowned oldest man, George Melford Nygaard, has shared his thoughts on the secret to a long and fulfilling life without missing out on the finer things.
Following the death of Torbjorn Ovrebo last week, Nygaard officially became Norway's oldest man at the age of 107. He will celebrate his 108th birthday on January 12. In 2017, Norway boasted 945 citizens over the age of 100, reports Nettavisen.
"It's not true that you have to live healthy to grow old. I have eaten and drank what I wanted throughout my life. I was a big smoker until I reached my forties, but I still have to have a glass of wine every day. It thins out the blood. But I make sure not to drink too much," said Nygaard told Glomdalen.
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"I've always had a good mood. One must almost have to live, especially in my age. Once upon a time I had a neighbor who was always mad and angry, so I do not want it. If so, you're angry with life too.”
"I have not thought so much about it. I know that someone who was older than me died a few days ago, I have been told. But I do not want to think so much about this record. That's no good thought," Nygaard added.
Born in 1910 in North Dakota, after his father emigrated from Norway in 1894, Nygaard experienced both world wars. Speaking about the First World War, Nygaard recalled some of his earliest memories. "I remember some episodes from that war as well. Among other things, I remember that my dad gave away one of our horses to the army, the American army.”
George learned to drive in a 1915 Ford Model T, at just 14 years of age. He drove his entire life until the age of 95, when his eyesight started to fade.
Nygaard witnessed the Second World War firsthand, being stationed in Hawaii during his service in the US Navy. He gave up smoking in 1953 but still indulges his other vice by drinking a glass of wine a day.
Nygaard and his wife Adele would eventually settle back in Roverud, Norway. Adele passed away in 1992 and, after a severe bout of pneumonia when he was 101, George was forced to move into a retirement home where he has lived ever since. He does, however, maintain an active mind and pays very close attention to events around the world, including his former home.
"Donald Trump is not a good man for the United States," George, a lifelong Democrat, believes. "The voters fell for his his slogan to ‘make America great again.’"
Marie Antoinette Andersen is currently Norway's oldest person, having turned 108 on September 29.