In no stretch of the imagination could you argue that 41-years-old is elderly, but when it comes to the Olympics, youth can often be an advantage. Take, for example, the gold-winning US women’s gymnastics team that ranges from 16 to 22 years old. Even the mighty Michael Phelps (who is spurring some of the best memes of the 2016 Rio games) has admitted that, at 31, he doesn’t have the stamina he once did. That said, experience is also an asset, as Oksana Chusovitina could tell you. The over-40 gymnast competing in her seventh Olympic games is proving that age ain’t nuthin’ but a number.
While most gymnasts retire from the sport before leaving their 20s, Oksana Chusovitina is still going strong at 41 during her SEVENTH Olympic games. Representing various countries throughout the years, she won the silver medal in the vault at the Beijing 2008 Olympics for Germany and a gold as part of the Soviet Union’s team in 1992.
This year, she’s competing for Uzbekistan, and has already placed high enough to nab a spot in the individual finals for the women’s vault.
Highlighting the age gap between herself and her competitors is the fact that Oksana is a mom whose son happens to be 17 years old. That’s right, Alisher is actually older than some of the athletes competing against his mother.
An inspiration for the younger athletes competing — as well as anyone who’s ever felt like they’re too old to continue to follow their dreams — we’ll be cheering on Oksana as she continues to prove that you can be just as kicka$$ in your 40s as you are in your 20s, 30s or any other age.
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