College student builds roller coaster for thrill-seeking grandpa

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(WFLA/CNN Newsource) – Without a doubt, for most Americans, 2020 has been a year of ups and downs.

One college student was motivated to give that phrase a fun and positive spin, literally, for his grandfather.

Fred Silverblatt lives life on the edge.

“I am a very young 83,” he said.

He is still a practicing doctor and a triathlon athlete, so it’s not surprising to hear there’s a new addition to his front yard causing a lot of amusement.

It’s a one-way roller coaster, built by his grandson.

“So it actually really started when I was like 8 or 9-years-old, and I always wanted to build a roller coaster,” said Elliot Ryan.

Home from college because of COVID-19, Ryan, 20, who is studying to become a civil engineer, decided to finally turn that dream into a reality.

“I asked my grandpa, and then he’s like ‘will you build it for me?’ And I said, ‘sure,'” Ryan said.

Elliot worked almost every day from April through August, using wood, nails and a slide he got as a gift from his grandpa when he was 2.

“He did everything all himself. That’s the amazing thing about it,” said Silverblatt.

Two weeks ago, Ryan put the final touches on his creation and his grandpa was the first to test it out.
“It was very exciting. Probably more exciting than I anticipated,” said Silverblatt.

“It was crazy. I was a little nervous… I knew it was going to be fun for him and fun for everyone to watch him do it,” said Ryan.

Ryan said he’s grateful for his grandfather’s encouragement, helping push his project to perfection.

“What he does is crazy. I don’t know what I’m going to be doing at his age, but it’s probably not going to be that,” he said.

Grandson and grandpa already have plans to make the roller coaster even bigger next summer.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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