Just as we move into 2013, leaving the buzz of the 2012 Olympics well and truly behind us, we can take heart from the story of a lady recently officially named ‘the world’s oldest gymnast’ in the Guinness World Records.
Johanna Quaas, 86, from Leipzig, Germany, wowed crowds and record adjudicators at the Cottbus World Cup in Germany with a remarkably agile performance. Sporting a green leotard, she expertly performed acrobatic displays on both the floor and parallel bars worthy of someone half her age.
Johanna was born into a family of gymnasts and did the sport for a time as an infant. However, she soon sacrificed her passion to settle down and have children and only “picked it up again” in her fifties; performing in her very first competition at the age of 56. Although, 30 years on, she claims she practices gymnastics “just for fun,” she has 11 medals in senior gymnastic competitions under her belt and seems to still follow a strict training regime: “As soon as I wake up, I’m an early bird so my morning routine is running up and down the stairs.” Reportedly, as well as running, she regularly practices yoga. This dynamic 86-year-old said of her recent record: “It is a great feeling to be included and I hope the record inspires others to realise it’s never too late.”