You might think these are just ordinary sweet ladies who spend their time in the garden or nursing their grandchildren.
Well, sometimes they do. But when they don’t…
Evgenia Stepanova, 75
When Evgenia Stepanova turned 60, she decided that the only thing she needed for a complete happiness was a professional sports career. So she chose water jumping and started practicing for her first international competitions.
Actually, Evgenia has been dreaming about sports career for her whole life, but kept working as an engineer. Only after 60 she decided to focus on sports, moreover, to do it professionally, with regular training, competitions and fighting for medals.
Now Evgenia’s 75, and she’s only starting. One might think water jumping after 70 is a crazy idea, but actually there’re a lot of competitions for aged sportsmen all over the world. So Evgenia has plenty of opportunities to travel, compete and win.
Chandro Tomar, 82
Chandro Tomar, who is from the the state of Uttar-Pradesh in India, picked up a gun for the first time at 68. Actually, she brought her granddaughter to the shooting range, but out of boredom, decided to try shooting herself. That’s when she realized that the sport of shooting is her true calling.
“I got addicted to shooting the moment I picked up a gun,“ she admits. “Plus, the trainer immediately noticed me and invited me to come back to the shooting range. That’s how I started practicing every week.“
In the following 10 years, Chandro Tomar won 25 national championships. Remembering, at the same time, to keep up with her household, help her six children, and raise her 15 grandchildren. When household tasks kept her from going to the shooting range, Tomar practiced her accuracy in her own back yard: by throwing stones at bottles filled with water.
Lyudmila Voronova, 64
A four-kilometer swim, followed by 180 more by bike, then a 42-kilometer run – one after the other, with no breaks. This is the Ironman, one of the most difficult triathlons. At age 64, Lyudmila Voronova, from Novosibirsk, completes this challenge without much difficulty.
“When I was first invited to participate in the Ironman, I thought it was a joke. It’s an unbelievable distance,” says Lyudmila.
Before her first competition, she trained for only three months. And, she liked it. She began to compete regularly and to win regularly too. She finished first in an Ironman in Korea, then in Austria, and in 2012, won for the third time – in Sweden – and received a very prestigious invitation to participate in the Ironman world championship in Hawaii. By then, she was 61.
“It’s said that people lose their physical ability with age. I’m doing the opposite – I’m gaining it,” Lyudmila says. And continues to compete regularly.
Galina Tsverova, 85
Galina Tsverova from Sochi, Russia, started to lift weights at 75. By 82, she easily lifted 110 pounds from a benchpress. For several years this was the best result in her age group.
Galina got interested in powerlifting when she started visiting a sport club for people with disabilities — her son got hurt during his army service and uses the wheelchair since then. She started by lifting 44 pounds, and it was very hard, she admits. But slowly, with lifting the bar for two-three hours four times a week, she became a twice World champion in her age and weight groups.
Nina Melnikova, 75, and Antonina Kulikova, 75
Nina and Antonina started practicing aikido at 70 thanks to… gardening club. The exchanged seeds and celebrated holidays together, and were going to continue, иге something unexpected happened. A man named Vitaly came to their club and decided to teach the grannis his aikido art.
He was probably very persuasive since he managed to gather over a hundred ladies for the first training. But when they saw the demonstration, they were terrified. Vitaly threw his colleague on the floor and overall did frightful things. Only 15 women came to the second training — and stayed. From 55 to 75, they started from a scratch and never practiced any sports. They’ve been training for three hours twice a week for more than eight years now, never missing a day — they hardly ever feel sick now.
“Physical abilities of older people are highly underrated,” Vitaly is sure. “The main difficulty was in their heads. For some reason people think that women of that age should stay at home watching soap operas.” Something his students never do now.
Diana Nyad, 66
At 64, Diana Nyad managed to do the impossible. She swam я hundred miles in the ocean. Diana started from Cuba and finished in Florida. Her swim lasted 53 hours.
It was her fifth try to complete this distance. She decided to do it at 60 and started her training. Turned out it was worth it: she became the first person confirmed to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage.
“For me, this accomplishment was about more than just setting a record. More importantly, since I turned 60, I feel more alive, more real than I ever was for the last 30 years. Now I know I live my only and priceless life fully”.
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