Engaging in some sports was a mandatory task for most people in their younger days. But when that time is gone, people usually get detached from playing what they liked for so many years.
As many studies declare, the best performing age for athletes is between 26 to 28. It is valid to some extent because the physical strength sports demand tends to wear off slowly after that age period. But you will be shocked to learn that many people competed in the Olympics in their 60s.
In the previous century, the world was far away from modern methods and techniques. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear much about them nowadays. This article is especially to celebrate their willingness and courage and inspire our generation. Let’s learn about the oldest Olympians who broke all the stereotypes and proved that age doesn’t matter.
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1. Lida Peyton “Eliza” Pollock
The 1904 Summer Olympics witnessed a courageous 63-year-old woman competing in Archery. Her name is Lida Peyton Pollock, and she is from the US; she is among the oldest female Olympians. The talented Pollock stopped making headlines for competing, but she also won three medals. Her skill in Archery, combined with her innate bravery, inspired the whole generation. She also got a Gold Medal which made her the oldest female gold medalist in the History of the Olympics.
1. Lorna Johnstone
Imagine a woman competing in the Equestrian Dressage while she was 70 in 1972. It is undoubtedly too much surprise in a single sentence. Lorna Johnstone, the oldest woman to compete in the Olympics ever, single-handedly influenced the entire society around her. She had always been surrounded by horses who appeared in the 1956 Olympics for the first time. Although she did not win, her dedication, discipline, and participation in her 70s inspired all citizens of Great Britain.
1. Joshua Millner
Joshua Millner is the second oldest shooter to take part in the Olympics. He first competed in the 1908 Games in Shooting and won the Gold Medal, representing Great Britain. He was a revolutionary man who did not let age define his capabilities. The gold medalist won the competition with 1,000 yards Free Rifle and left a significant mark on the pages of History.
1. Ian Millar
Ian Millar is another important name in the History of the Olympics who won many hearts because of his incredible sportsmanship. He never failed to take part consistently in the Olympics from 1972 to 2012 in Equestrian Jumping. Ian Millar’s last year at the Olympics was 2012 when he was 65 years old. The world also remembers him as the first athlete to participate in the 10 Olympic Games. He was also about to get into the 2016 Rio Games but could not do so because his horse was unwell due to a recent surgery.
1. Hiroshi Hoketsu
Hiroshi Hoketsu made headlines for being the oldest Olympian at the 2008 and 2012 Games. He was 71 when he took part in 2012 in Equestrian Dressage. Hoketsu is from Japan and first appeared in the 1964 Olympics. But since then, he discontinued the Olympics for 40 years. But his passion found its way and pushed the 67-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu to reappear in the Games. He also tried to get into the 2016 Olympic Games but couldn’t do so because his scores were not up to the mark.
1. Oscar Swahn
Oscar Swahn has been the oldest Olympic medalist and athlete since the Olympic Committee discontinued recognizing art competition medals. Swahn first appeared in 1908 in Shooting when he was at the age of 60. He took the whole world by surprise by winning two medals. If that is not surprising enough, he competed in the 1912 Olympics and won another gold medal when he was 64. The 1920 Olympics witnessed his talent for the last time when he won a Silver at the age of 72.
So here is the list of some of the oldest athletes to compete in the Olympics. The Olympians were frowned upon when they declared their decision but eventually secured a place of their own in History. Their stories will surely remind you not to give up because of old age. Because old age is a blessing when you acquire absolute knowledge and experience, don’t hold yourself from participating in competitions because of your age. Instead, become more enthusiastic by reading about the journeys of these athletes and follow your heart. Who knows you are the next winner to enroll your name in history!