Ervin Pilger has a simple outlook on life.
"If you're active, you're going to live longer," he said. "I'm going to 113."
As crazy as it sounds, he might be right.
The 75-year-old Grovetown resident leads an active lifestyle that could rival those of many adults half his age.
Just over a month ago, Pilger put his athleticism to the test at the Georgia Golden Games in Warner Robins. Competing in the 70- to-79-year-old division, he came home with a gold medal for the second straight year in the horseshoe toss and a silver medal in shuffleboard.
In the horseshoe toss, Pilger earned four points out of a possible six for the gold. He also competed in basketball and pool.
Pilger said he first had to qualify for the Georgia Golden Games by winning the events at the local level. He did that in May at Julian Smith Casino in Augusta.
"I've done it every year since I've known about it," Pilger said. "I have an area in my back yard where I practice."
Pilger came to the Augusta area in 1965 after joining the Army. After a decorated military career that saw him serve in Vietnam and earn three Purple Hearts, he settled in Grovetown, where he's lived an active life ever since.
After two straight gold medals at the Georgia Golden Games, Pilger said he's attracted another potential competitor: his wife, Linda.
"My wife beats me," Pilger said. "Most men won't admit it, but I will."
Linda Pilger has helped her husband train for the horseshoe toss in past years but plans to compete for herself in the Georgia Golden Games next year.
"I go with him every year to watch, but I've been thinking about trying the horseshoes and pool also," Mrs. Pilger said.
At 58 years old, Linda said, she still has a hard time keeping up with her 75-year-old husband. She said his enthusiasm and athleticism come from his equally youthful mind.
"My husband and I got married when he was 69," she said. "The first time I met him he told me he felt 15. He acts like it, too."
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