Practicing a sport is the best way to keep a human body young forever. It requires a lot of energy, consistency and willpower to maintain the lifestyle of an athlete. You can’t be forced into adopting such a lifestyle. It has to be innate, because an athlete’s body requires a great deal of dedication and nourishment.
This is the reason the world has seen a limited number of legends in the field of sports. As we mentioned earlier, not every human is capable of such efficient skills and dedication. It is also true that after a certain age, it becomes difficult for a person to maintain such a high level of commitment as needed by an athlete.
Regardless of this, there are some inspirational athletes who have certainly challenged the rigors of time and age. They have been able to maintain their commitment, even at an age where people would usually hit the bed. Such athletes serve as a learning example for all of us and motivate us to bring out the best in ourselves. When asked about their secrets of having remarkable amounts of energy even during old age, the reason was their degree of passion for fitness and healthy living, which was more prevalent than in the average person.
For aging athletes, sports are their life, and this is the main cause of their success. Nevertheless, the access to remarkable resources from the web, like fitness tips, healthy recipes and training exercises have helped them to meet their wellness goals.
In this article, we will discuss the 10 athletes who have challenged age limitations and progressed forwards, despite what others said. They are the ones who proved others wrong by reaching an incredible level of fame, even in old age.
Here is the list of 10 age defying, amazing athletes:
1. The Warrior Within Martina Navratilova
Tennis superstar Martina Navratilova managed to win a U.S. Open mixed doubles championship, even at the ripe old age of 50. In an interview with ESPN, she urged other aspiring sportsmen and women to surpass their limits and believe in themselves.
Though she was suffering from breast cancer and battling other forms of cancer via a complete radiation treatment program, she succeeded at securing the title at Wimbledon at the age of 53. In addition to that, at the age of 55, she went way outside of her comfort zone by competing in the popular television show, Dancing with the Stars.
Martina credits a large part of her success to standing up against her fears and stepping out of her comfort zone. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, she revealed that she was scared to dance, so she decided to take part in the TV show to conquer her fear.
2. The Feisty Yuichiro Miura
Yuichiro Miura is a Japanese mountaineer who currently holds the record for being the oldest person to walk to the top of Mount Everest, which is more than five miles above sea level.
He has performed this miraculous feat no less than three times, and he was age 80 the last time he reached the summit.
To make this alpinist’s achievements even more astounding, he had to undergo several rounds of heart surgery prior to his record-breaking climb. Reaching the top of the world’s tallest mountain is tough enough for the average athlete, so for a man of 80 with heart problems to do it is quite impressive.
3. The Legendary Don Pellman
As we mentioned earlier, being a legendary athlete requires a high level of commitment. One has to live every moment with that sort of passion. Don Pellman is another great example of such a person.
When he took up track events and running after retirement, he quickly moved up the rankings, though he said there’s no big secret to his success: just sensible exercise and a balanced diet.
The multiple record-holder said, at age 96, that one of the secrets to his success was never having a rest day. He claimed to have trained 365 days a year, in order to maintain his astounding levels of endurance.
4. The Quick Ed Whitlock
Running Times magazine, while talking about Ed Whitlock, an athlete at the age of 80, mentions that his fastest recorded time when running a marathon at the age of 73 was 2:54. However, this athlete didn’t spend his whole life on the track.
Despite being a track master in high school, he had to drop sports when he moved to Ontario to take up a job to earn a living. However, he picked it up again at the age of 41.
By this age, most of the people have started believing that they have already lived their golden years. However, Ed began to live his golden years after the age of 40, thanks in part to the great support offered by his wife.
In an interview with Running Times, he revealed his motivation to run isn’t associated with health benefits or keeping up shape, he simply runs because he loves to race.
5. The Inspirational Eileen Philippa ‘Phil’ Raschker
Mary Trotto, aged 64, and a strong competitor of Eileen Philippa, while talking to ESPN, said, “She’s an inspiration, when I compete with her, I’m actually faster.”
It wouldn’t be unfair if we were to compare her with the best athletes of all time, such as LeBron James, Apollo Ohno and Usain Bolt.
Eileen has been able to take home 68 gold medals at the World Masters Athletics Championships and 22 World Masters records for both outdoor and indoor events.
She is rightly considered one of the finest athletes in the world. She’s also a two-time Sullivan Award finalist and a motivator for competitors.
6. The Competitive Olga Kotelko
We typically imagine that a person past the age of 70, or even a little bit less, plans and wishes to enjoy a serene and calm life, and spend most of their time seeing the wonders of nature. However, according to us, this athlete is a wonder of nature herself.
Olga Kotelko, 92 years old, Canadian super-athlete, is so surprising that a team of doctors from the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University are studying her. They have found that her muscle tissue is deteriorating at a far slower rate than would be expected for her age. In an interview with The New York Times, Olga herself revealed her surprise at still being so energetic.
The source of her endurance is clearly a mystery, but has helped the athlete to many victories over the years. According to the newspaper, to date she has been able to bag 23 world records and 17 in the 90-to-95 age bracket for track and field events.
7. The Motivational Steve Rounds
Steve Rounds, the world-famous rower, got into the sport at the age of 66. With a history of playing lacrosse and ice hockey at Cornell University, this athlete always had an interest in sports.
His favorite event is the 2K sprint, in which he has won countless world titles, even coming close to breaking the world record of 8:10.5 for his division at the 2014 World Indoor Rowing Championships.
In an interview with USA Rowing, Rounds revealed he beat the record at home, but just wasn’t able to make it on the grand stage. At the age of 85, and with many world titles in his career so far, there is still time for Steve to break a few more records.
8. The Winner, Pat Gallant-Charette
Pat Gallant-Charette got into marathon swimming at the age of 48, after a career as a nurse, and a full life as a mother and grandmother. Now, at the age of 63, she continues to astound spectators with her extraordinary abilities.
Inspired by the unfortunate passing of her brother, Gallant-Charette initially took part in a swim in her home of Maine. She is now attempting to be only the fifth person ever to finish the Oceans Seven, an intense marathon swimming event that challenges only the best athletes to complete seven of the most difficult swimming courses ever devised.
Unfortunately for Pat, her attempt at completing the Cook Strait in January 2014 was a failure thanks to some rough tides. But, she still has plenty of years and plenty of energy to carry on, so don’t be surprised to hear of future successes for Pat.
9. The Champion: Willie Gault
The 51-year-old former NFL star has been devoting his energies post-football to becoming a master’s track champion. He recently set world records in his 50-to-54 age group in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, clocking in at 10.88 and 22.44, respectively.
His fame has also given a big boost to senior athletics in the public eye, says Ken Stone, editor of masterstrack.com and a leading expert on masters track athletes.
“He’s certainly the fastest man in the world over 50,” says Stone. “His records would beat the vast majority of high school kids on the track today. In fact, he would beat the vast majority of elite women on track today: if his records were entered, he would qualify for the Olympic finals for women.”
1O. The Yoga Teacher: Tao Porchon-Lynch
Yoga is becoming increasing popular nowadays, and when we see women like Tao Porchon-Lynch, we can see why. In 1982, she was a founder of the Westchester Institute of Yoga. And now, at the age of 95, this Indian yoga teacher is still hosting classes and inspiring people all over the world with her age-defying youthfulness.
Porchon-Lynch began practicing yoga from a young age, and continued doing so throughout her years in show-business. She is strong believer in the notion that nothing is impossible and people can do whatever they put their minds to, and so far, she’s living proof that her personal philosophy of “There is nothing you cannot do” certainly has some truth to it.
These extraordinary athletes are definitely a great example to those people who think they have grown old and don’t have much left to do in their lives. It is rightly said that those who are young at heart can never grow old. Hence, one should never give up, no matter how bad the circumstances are.
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