World’s oldest man celebrates 113th birthday
The world’s oldest man has celebrated his 113th birthday in Spain — with cake, milk and visits from his 15 great-grandkids.
Francisco Nunez Olivera, who also has four children and nine grandchildren, attributes his long life to a diet of homegrown vegetables and a daily glass of red wine.
But he began his special day by feasting on his traditional sponge cake, washed down with a glass of milk as he opened letters of congratulations from well-wishers around the world.
The widower’s daughter Maria Antonia, 82, was among those who spent the anniversary with him at his home in the village of Bienvenida in Badajoz, southwest Spain.
Olivera, who has two siblings ages 97 and 93, became the world’s oldest man after the death of Polish-born Israeli Yisrael Kristal on Aug. 11.
The retired farmer, who fought in the Rif War in the first half of the 1920s between Spain and the Berber tribes of the Rif mountains in Morocco, went out for daily walks alone in his home village until he was 107.
Olivera was born on Dec. 13, 1904 and shares his birthday with famous French painter Lucien Coutaud.
At that time, Antonio Maura was prime minister of Spain, while, in the UK, Lord Arthur Balfour was running the country.
The plucky centenarian has lived through some incredible world events and will most certainly have a tale or two to tell the grandchildren…and great-grandchildren.
He was just 10 when Britain declared war on Germany on Aug. 4, 1914, signaling the start of World War I. He also lived through the Spanish Civil War and, of course, World War II.
And at age 64, Olivera, compared to his ripe old age now, must have felt like a spring chicken as he watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon in 1969.
He’s also lived through tragedies, such as 9/11 and, in his 100th year, more closer to home, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, which killed 191 people and injured 2000.
Conversely, he’s witnessed some celebratory moments on his home turf — that glass of red wine must’ve gone down a treat when Spain won the FIFA World Cup in 2010.
Olivera started to read again at 98 after a cataract operation, one of only two occasions he has been to the hospital, according to relatives.
Olivera, known as Marchena because of his likeness to a Spanish flamenco singer who used that stage name, is one of 30 people over the age of 90 among the 2,300 inhabitants of Bienvenida.
Proud daughter Antonia, now his full-time carer, said her dad is in “good health” and doesn’t have any aches or pains or illnesses.
She said: “Some days he talks all day and others he sleeps all day.”
“Someone mentioned the idea of taking him to a retirement home once and it made me feel bad.”
Mayor Antonio Carmona added: “He’s a living example of the quality of life in the municipality, but also of the pollution-free skies and countryside and stress-free work of the traditional way of life.”
In an April 2015 interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, Francisco said he would like to live a couple more years, despite the fact all his friends were dead, and insisted: “I know I’m old but I don’t feel old.”
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