The Olympic Games in Tokyo this year have certainly been the real proof of CrunchyTales’ beliefs on ageing as a time of awareness, reawakening and resilience.
With some of them competing against others (who were not even born at the time of their first entry into the Olympics), we’ve managed to see several female athletes over 40 who have broken the mould in their chosen events. These mature athletes have caused quite a stir. Coming from a multitude of countries (Australia, Uzbekistan, Luxembourg, Peru), they’ve all managed to highlight our philosophy in that: “Age doesn’t define you.”
And don’t think it’s the lower energy higher concentration or static events which they’re competing in, like shooting or golf. It’s fast-paced and strenuous sports like table tennis (see Chinese Ni XiaLian – 58). where agility speed and reactions are vital, gymnastics (Oksana Chusovitina from Uzbekistan- 46) and Equestrianism (Australian Mary Hanna – 66), where stamina and a great ability to recover physically and mentally are essential.
Ranging from their early forties to mid-sixties these “Senior Olympians” have helped to change people’s way of thinking that we are too old or past it to seriously compete or make a difference.
To get to the level of an athlete is fantastic, to get to the level of Olympian is even better, but to remain so competitive and effective at that ridiculously high level takes sheer determination, planning, maintenance of great health and a fantastic support team to allow you to do this.
What they’ve all demonstrated to us is that despite the various setbacks they may have encountered over their lives, whether it be physical, mental, personal, or financial, they have all managed to find a way to deal with this and keep moving forward positively.
Their superpowers? They’ve realised that what they may have done to compete in their 20s or 30s is going to have to be changed in midlife. These athletes have continually reassessed themselves and adapted to their circumstances and accommodated appropriately.
Instead of regretting those chances we might have lost in the past or how gorgeous and strong we used to be, I believe we should take this time, our experience and our energy to build a new path. Changing is the answer.
As Ni Xia Lian says: “I know I am not the youngest, but today I am younger than tomorrow. If you set your mind on something, age will not be an obstacle.”
Athletes, CrunchyTales salutes you all as you are such an inspiration to all our readers.