We’ve all seen world famous athletes like Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo and Usain Bolt dominate the global sporting arena. These athletes often make the news for the amazing feats they achieve. But we thought to bring you something different for a change. Here are 5 inspiring stories of athletes over 60 who just won’t take no for an answer.
Martin Strel, The Big River Man
Swimming had always been a huge part of his life. In an interview, Martin would recall a younger self, moments where his father would run after him. Martin would just run into the water to escape. Now at 62, Martin Strel is one of the most elite endurance athletes around. He holds the Guinness World records for swimming in the Amazon river (5,268 km), the Danube river (2,860 km), the Mississippi River (3,885 km) and the Yangtze River (4,003 km). Yes, Martin is no average swimmer. But his already amazing feats don’t end there. Back in late 2015, Martin Strel announced his plan to swim around the world. That’s 107 countries in 450 days. Dubbed “Strel World Swim”, the challenge was to officially kick off back in March 22nd of 2016. But rumor has it the challenge will be relaunched with a start date early this year.
Robert Marchand, Cyclist Extraordinaire
When it comes to cycling, fitness and endurance holds key to mastering the sport. Maintaining consistent fitness levels is just as it is important to maintain an appropriate diet. That’s pretty much Robert’s secret behind his cycling success. Robert Marchand, aged 105 is a veteran cyclist. Robert now holds the record for the furthest distance cycled in one hour, in the over-105 age group. The French cyclist has managed to clock in 22.547 km at the Velodrome National recently. Like Martin, Robert had always been with cycling throughout his life. In 1946, Robert finished seventh in the Grand Prix des Nations. 66 years later he even set a world record in one-hour track cycling in the over-100 age group at 24.250 km. So what was his secret exactly? According to Robert, ti all comes down to lots of fruit and vegetables, a little meat and very little coffee. Of course, an hour a day on the cycling home trainer would have helped too.
Madonna Buder, Iron Nun
Hailing from Missouri, USA , comes Sister Madonna Buder, also known as Iron Nun. In case you’re wondering, no, she’s not related to any Marvel superhero. Sister Madonna Buder is a senior Olympian triathlete who holds the record for the oldest person to ever finish an Ironman Triathlon. At 86, Sister Madonna has competed in more than 325 triathlons, including 45 Ironman triathlons. Few months back, she was even featured in a Nike ad, aired during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Iron Nun indeed!
Flo The Pole Vaulting Granny
Flo Meiler is no ordinary athlete. In 2011, the 82 year old set the world indoor record for the women over 75 group pole vault. Although passionately known as the “pole vaulting granny”, Flo doesn’t limit herself to just pole vault. From high jump and triple jump; to discus and hammer throw, Flo has quite the list. Not bad for someone who took up track and field at age 60.
Sprinting Charles Eugster
Last but not least is Charles Eugster. Charles is a retired dentist who took up exercise in his 80s. He took up running in his 90s where he competed in many sprinting events, whether its 60m or 400m, Charles is always game, Now at 97, Charles remains to be a bodybuilder as well as a track and field athlete. He even broke the record for 95-and-over world indoor 200m race at a Masters Athletics meet in London, clocking in at 55.48 seconds.
So, if you were having trouble achieving those new year resolutions, look no further than these amazing stories. Do you know about any inspiring athlete that we should talk about? Let us know in the comments below.
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