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Out of the Loop: Are roller coasters the secret to agelessness?

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By Andy Guinigundo

So what’s the secret to good health into one’s 8th decade of life and beyond? Is it eating right? Staying off the booze and cigarettes? Exercise? Apparently for one 88-year-old, the answer is frequenting an amusement park and hopping on her favorite coaster. In this case the park is Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio and the favorite coaster, The Diamondback.

The Bollinger & Mabillard designed Diamondback was added to the vast stable of Kings Island coasters in 2009. The 230-foot-tall coaster reaches speeds of 80 miles-per-hour. The coaster received a thumbs up from many coaster enthusiasts and made many “best of” lists in its first year. This coaster is indeed one of my personal favorites because of its crazy-smooth speed, high heights, and that “wow, I’m flying” feeling!

Thelma Gratsch decided a good way to spend her 88th birthday was in the front seat of the Diamondback. Was this a one-time deal? No! The season passholder has been to the park 23 times this year alone.

Well, Thelma, happy birthday to you and many more and thanks for showing us the secret to a long and exhilarating life!

Andy Guinigundo is the author of the Out of The Loop column in “Orlando Attractions Magazine”. Out of the Loop keeps you up-to-date with attraction news outside of Central Florida. Andy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and three daughters. He grew up frequenting theme parks around Ohio and making trips to Orlando with his family. While for most of the year, he’s out of the Orlando loop, he tries to visit Florida at least once a year.

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