Meet the local seniors starring in The Fit Generation
The Fit Generation, screening January 31, is an inspiring documentary about amazing people in their 70’s and 80’s in British Columbia who choose to live a healthy, active life despite all the challenges that come with aging. They face cancer, arthritis, heart attacks, bone fractures, knee replacements, fatigue and the loss of loved ones, but they won’t give up or stop having fun!
Two Whistler locals, Marcel Richoz and George Tjelios-Nicholas, star with four others in the film, showing us how to live life to the fullest – including dancing, biking, skiing and playing hockey.
Both gentlemen made quite an impression, full of character and energy late into the afternoon. As I sat with George, 86, and Marcel, 77, they shared animated stories as great friends, as well as colleagues and co-stars:
What is ‘The Fit Generation’?
George: It’s a mindset. My clients at the ski school ask, “Where did you grow up George” and I tell them, I’m not finished yet, we’re still learning.
Marcel tells me how they are often challenged, showcased and celebrated for their age, though George favours the surprise and delight approach.
George: “If someone asks my age, I tell them at the end of the day as most will not want to ski with me if they find out I’m 86. They may think that I teach because I’m no longer up to skiing.”
Marcel: “We are mature so the perception is different. We often teach beginners as it is seen that because we are older, we won’t be encouraging them to drop off cliffs.”
Our province and landscape is encouraging our local population to stay fit, this message is relevant not just for seniors, but for all! Both gentlemen have chosen a lifestyle in BC naturally geared towards a healthy body; Marcel cuts and carries wood to heat his house, they both ride bikes in the summer as means of commuting and leisure.
We feel Whistler, and advocates as yourselves, are highlighting the importance of physical activity for all-round well-being, but what’s in it for you?
Marcel: Socializing is very good for us. There is also an aura around ‘The ski instructor’, which I believe comes from Europe. The younger instructors are in awe as I ski alongside them, it’s almost a celebrated status. I’ve lived here for a long time and people will say ‘You are legends’ … and I’ll take that!
Contrary to belief, Marcel can be seen sending it down the black runs such as Gear Jammer to the chorus of accolades from colleagues and friends alike.
George: I like to move! I like skiing, I’ve raced cars, caught big waves in Hawaii every year for decades. I came here for the skiing, then my family moved here, now I stay because of the people. It’s not about status or age as we’re buddies with the twenty-somethings that we work alongside.
“We gain respect from the younger generations when they see us working, living and skiing as they do, and with passion! So we gain trust. We earn friendship as well as respect in this town.”
The Arts Centre is proud to host this inspiring documentary and I’d like for it to inspire further conversation about the benefits of inter-generational learning within our community, with that in mind…
What advice would you give to other seniors to help them break out of outdated age presumptions?
George: In our lifetime the conversation has opened up, I can ski with my grandkids and they respect that I’m active and we have fun together. Some of the older generations have learned to take their place as an ‘older person’ and feel deterred by presumptions that we could hurt ourselves.
Finally, some rapid-fire questions to share your wisdom with us all:
I can’t start my day without:
_____ keeps me motivated daily:
Marcel: Having fun, enjoying life.
The best thing about being a senior is:
Marcel: The journey there.
George: The surprise of how good it can be, as I would not have thought it when I was 40.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Marcel: I’ve many fantastic habits! I believe routine is good for me.
George: Having a beer at the end of the day!
Buy tickets to The Fit Generation – Whistler Premiere
The Fit Generation is an inspiring documentary about amazing people in their 70’s and 80’s in British Columbia who choose to live a healthy, active life despite all the challenges that come with aging. They face cancer, arthritis, heart attacks, bone fractures, knee replacements, fatigue and the loss of loved ones, but they won’t give up or stop having fun!
Read the rave reviews and find out more about the film.
- Date: January 31, 2020
- Times: 6.30pm Doors open
7:00pm Showtime (45 minute film with 15-min Q&A following the film)
8:00pm Premiere reception – meet the stars!
- Price: $15 general admission | $10 The Silver Set Seniors use promo code: IAMFIT *takes $5 off regular price. For 55+ ONLY. ID required at the door.
- Venue: Maury Young Arts Centre (Get directions – Google Map)
- Ages: All ages
- Cash bar & concession available. *Alcoholic drinks are not allowed inside the theatre during films
- Share the Facebook event
Written by: Chantelle Matthews