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Awe-Inspiring Athletes Over 80 and Their Stories

Awe-Inspiring Athletes Over 80 and Their Stories

It always gives me a rush watching master athletes do their thing. Watch them for 30 seconds and you’ll agree with me that these are the real badasses. The true beasts in the gym, on the field, and on the mat. 

Most of the population starts to slow down and take it easy as they get older. They doubt their ability, and their confidence in what their bodies can do starts to waver. We all just kind of accept the fact that we aren’t going to be as active and in shape as we age. 

But these women defy those odds and they don’t listen to the status quo. They push on and accomplish things most of us only dream of. They also show us that it can be done, and we can do it too if we’d just not quit. 

Maybe we should try to be more like them? 

Nora Langdon, 80 yr old powerlifter

At 65 years old and after a 35 year career selling real estate, Nora decided it was time to get in shape. She felt winded going up and down stairs, so she contacted a friend's husband who was a coach and trainer. At her first session she benched a broomstick, and now she holds world records in bench (203 pounds), squat (413 pounds), and deadlift (381 pounds) for women 65 and older. 

Nora Langdon

Johanna Quaas, 97 yr old gymnast

Born in 1925, Johanna is the oldest gymnast. She started in gymnastics at the age of 9, but then quit after WWII for a different sport. She then picked up gymnastics again at the age of 57. 

At the young age of 91, she impressed the crowds at Berlin with a stunning performance and flawless moves. In her own words, “If you’re fit, it is easier to master life”, and I think she’s right. 

Johanna Quaas

Maggie McCloskey, 91 yr old softball player

Maggie is a beast on the field. At 91 years old, she sees aging as a static thing and something she’s not interested in accepting quite yet. Her goal is to continue to grow, regardless of her age. 

You can see that mindset play out on the field as she plays for the Colorado Peaches. Her joy for life radiates and she is defying her age every time she steps on the field. 

Maggie Mccloskey The Colorado Peaches

Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins, 105 yr old track runner

Julia has earned her nickname “Hurricane” fair and square. At the age of 105, she set a new world record for the fast 100-meter dash for women over 50. 

And she shows no signs of stopping. 

She was a school teacher back in the day, and several of her students have shown up to support her. At the time, they were 90 years old and cheered her on to a new record. 

Julia "Hurricane" Hawkins

Emily Bader, 80 yr old weightlifter

At 80 years old, Emily isn’t letting her diagnosis of osteoporosis get the best of her. Her bones look like swiss cheese, but she’s defying all odds and picking up the weights. 

She recently competed in a weight lifting competition and won first place in the master’s women 59-kilo weight class and age group of 75 and older. What’s even cooler, is her most recent bone scan showed improvement in her bone mass and her bloodwork shows that she’s more like a 55 year old than an 80 year old. 

Edith Murway Traina, 100 yr old competitive powerlifter

Edith didn’t start powerlifting until 91 and now she’s holding records and is in the Guiness Book of World Records for the oldest competitive powerlifter. I don’t know many 100 year olds that can  bench 66.8 pounds and deadlift 149.9 pounds, but Edith can.

She says she loves to hear the applause from the crowd, and she thrives on being told she can’t do something.

Gladys Burrill, 92 yr old marathon runner

At the young age of 92, Gladys Burrill ran the Honolulu Marathon for a total of 26.2 miles. She completed the race in 9 hours and 53 minutes.  

Born in 1918, she ran her first marathon at the age of 86 and then went on to complete 5 more marathons. She credits her success to eating healthy and exercising.

Gladys Burrill

The determination of these women to not let their age define them is beyond inspiring. And the fact that many of them didn’t pick up their sport until much later in life is proof that you can do whatever you set your mind to. You may learn that your body is much stronger than you think, and the benefits to your health and wellbeing are well worth the effort. 

Old Lady Gains Blog Awe-Inspiring Athletes Over 80 and Their Stories

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