Six athletes proving age is just a number

Jess Walter 13:55 18/01/2017
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  • Some of the most incredible athletes on the planet.

    Ask anyone on the street whether being in shape is good for their health, and they’ll almost always say yes.

    While many people believe that sports and fitness are reserved for younger generations, getting in shape, improving physical health, and making waves in the community is something that anyone of any age can accomplish.

    Whether they’re going to the gym daily or conquering the Senior Olympics, senior athletes are making waves in the fitness community.


    Jacinto Bonilla is a CrossFit athlete who competes at international level. Impressive, sure, but even more so for the fact he is 77 years of age.

    Bonilla’s not the youngest competitor by far, but he is one of the most successful and even has a workout named after him, the Jacinto Storm, involving several repetitions of squats, bodyweight exercises and deadlifts with weights over 90 pounds.

    Currently, Bonilla is an instructor at a CrossFit studio in Brooklyn where he trains students of all ages and experience levels.


    Robert Marchand is known for setting cycling records, not for speed, but for his age. At 105, he set the latest record for the longest distance covered in an hour for his age group.

    He rode around a velodrome for a total of 14 miles (22.55 km) and shows no signs of slowing down.

    The athlete believes that cycling is something everyone can do, whether they’re 12 or 100 years old. Marchand cycles every day on an indoor trainer at home to stay in shape and prepare for his next record trial.


    Louis Self is a renowned Kiteboarder based out of Arizona, commonly known as Arizona Lou.

    The sport is typically the domain of younger athletes and daredevils, but Louis continues to make waves as one of the oldest kiteboarders around.

    At the age of 74, he wants to push the limits, pursue the thrill, and help other people realise both their dreams and their goals.


    Ed Whitlock is one of the fastest senior marathon runners around.

    In October 2016, he completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in an astounding 3 hours 56 minutes 34 seconds, making him the oldest athlete to complete a marathon in under four hours.

    At the age of 85, he is redefining aging and forcing both society and science to re-examine what the human body is capable of.


    Yuichiro Miura is a Japanese mountaineer famed for initially setting the record for the oldest man to summit Mount Everest.

    He reached the top of the mountain when he was 80 years old in 2013, and though the descent was filled with complications, Miura plans on making a bid for the summit again when he turns 90.

    Despite several operations and health problems, Miura continues to ski and inspire people of all ages to live an active lifestyle.


    Peggy McDowell-Cramer is one of the oldest competitors to qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, HI.

    At the age of 57, she ran her first IRONMAN triathlon and now, at the age of 75, she is the oldest woman to qualify for the race.

    She credits her success in the sport to treating it as a part of her daily life and doing what she enjoys most.