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Seven record-breaking older people

24th April 2015

Ageing does not mean that you need to slow down, as these inspirational older folk prove. Whether they’ve attained impressive sporting achievements, or completed extraordinary feats, they are certainly flying the flag for the older generation. Even those who rely on mobility aids such as stairlifts in the home can still aspire to have the same attitude to life that these people have, so that they can live life to the fullest.

Oldest gymnast

You may recognise Johanna Quaas, as she has previously appeared on ITV’s This Morning and performed a routine on parallel bars in front of the programme’s presenters Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield. The 86-year-old German gymnast proved that age was no barrier when she gained her world record in 2012, and demonstrated flawless moves which even those in their twenties would struggle to master.


Oldest dance troupe

Last year, a dance troupe named The Hip Op-eration Crew from New Zealand became the oldest in the world, with the age of the dancers averaging at 80 years old. The wittily named group is made up of 22 active members, who range from 68 to 95 years old, and have a motto of ‘Respect and Honour Youth’. Not only do The Hip Op-eration Crew have some incredible choreography, but they also aim to form connections with the younger generation and change attitudes towards the older members of society.


Oldest person to ''loop the loop'' on top of an aircraft

The extremely brave Tom Lackey was crowned one of the most elderly daredevils when he broke the record for being the oldest person to ‘loop the loop’ on top of an aircraft in 2005, at 85 years old. Since then, Mr Lackey has gone on to break a further record at 94, when he became the first person to wingwalk from Land’s End to the Isle of Scilly on his birthday. Over the years, he has managed to raise £1 million for charity in memory of his wife Isabel, whose photo he always carries with him during stunts.


Oldest male to swim the English Channel

In 2011, retired surgeon Roger Allsopp swam from Shakespeare Beach in Dover, all the way to the bay of Calais in France, taking just 17 hours, 51 minutes and 19 seconds. Mr Allsopp was 70 years old at the time, and his record-breaking swim was just five years after his first attempt at swimming the English Channel. On the day of the feat, he swam non-stop, leaving Dover at 8am and reaching Calais just before 2am, following an added two-three hours to the swim due to the tide.


Oldest male to climb Mount Everest

Defying the odds, Yuichiro Miura broke his own record for the third time when he climbed to the top of Mount Everest at 80 years old. He completed the feat in 2013 after previously reaching the highest point on Earth in both 2003 and 2008. This is even more remarkable as the world’s oldest summiteer has a medical history, which includes four heart operations. It is thought that when completing the climb he said: “This is the world's best feeling, although I'm totally exhausted.”


Oldest bodybuilder

Australian Raymond Moon was named as the world’s oldest bodybuilder when he competed at the NABBA International Bodybuilding Figure and Fitness Championships in Melbourne in 2010. Mr Moon was 79 years old when he earned his title, but is still reportedly bodybuilding now five years on, even after a two-year battle with cancer, open heart surgery and two minor strokes. The Herald Sun newspaper quotes ‘Ray’ talking about the championships, who said: “It's quite an experience. It keeps you young."

Oldest person ever

Last, but not least, is Jeanne Louise Calment, who achieved a world record by being the oldest person to have ever lived. Reaching the grand age of 122 years and 164 days, she died in a nursing home in her native country France, but not before living through two World Wars and a variety of developments such as motor cars and televisions. The Guinness World Records’ website quotes Ms Calment, who when asked what she expected of her future on her 120th birthday, replied "a very short one".


Image Credit: Brad.K (

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.