At age 91, Gabrielle of Brookdale North Scottsdale, who goes by “Van,” claims that she is Formula 1 racer Kimi “The Ice Man” Räikkönen’s oldest and most dedicated fan. Räikkönen is a Finnish racer who is a member of the Formula 1 Ferrari team. Van is a long-time fan of Formula 1 (F1) racing. Her Wish of a Lifetime was to celebrate her love of F1 racing and Kimi Räikkönen.
Van enjoys racing because she loves the feeling and the thought of going on fast rides. Van has fond memories of watching F1 races with her late husband. She recalls him lovingly calling her a “frustrated racing woman.” Van is a dedicated fan who still continues to watch Formula 1 races. Today, she gets up at 3:00 AM just to watch Räikkönen and his races on TV because of the international time difference. She felt a connection with him the first time she saw him on TV. She thought he was a “cute guy” and liked him for his attitude. “He was quite the rascal,” she said.
In honor of Van’s love of F1 racing and Kimi Räikkönen, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale threw Van an F1 racing themed party. As a surprise, Van received a signed Kimi Räikkönen hat and poster. The celebration continued with food and dancing. “It was a lot of excitement for a 90-year-old. It made me feel younger and I was enjoying every second. I felt like I was in the Indianapolis 500,” said Van.
Photos credit: Paul Hubbard of AZ Photo Works, LLC
Catering by Danky’s BAR-B-Q