Five Canadian Olympians are among the elite group of 12 athletes who have received a medal over the age of 50 since the 1998 Olympics. The Canadian medals have come in equestrian and curling sports where competitors can remain at their athletic peak longer and even improve with age.
Paul Savage was 50 when he won a silver medal with his curling team at the 1998 Olympic Games. Curler Russ Howard turned 50 during the 2006 Olympics and holds the record as the oldest Canadian male to win a gold medal.
The Canadian athletes competing in equestrian events were Ian Millar, 61-years-old during the 2008 Olympics, his equestrian teammate Mac Cone, 56, and Eva-Maria Pracht who was 51 at the 1988 Olympics.
Ian Millar, who was recently named to the 2012 Canadian Olympic team for a record-breaking 10th time, may add to Canada’s impressive list of 50+ medallists. Millar holds the record for the oldest equestrian medallist and oldest Canadian medallist but he’ll still be seven years short of the record for the oldest overall Olympic medalist. That record is held by Swedish shooter, 72-year-old Oscar Swahn who competed and placed 2nd in the 1920 Olympics. However, if Millar receives a gold medal, he would beat Swahn’s record of the oldest athlete to receive a gold medal at age 64.
Another Canadian athlete who could break records is 52-year-old Lesley Thompson-Willie. Returning to the games for a 7th time Thompson-Willie will serve as the coxswain for the women’s eight rowing event. With four Olympic medals under her belt already she could become the first Canadian athlete to win medals in five different Olympic Games. If she wins a medal she will also be the oldest Canadian female Olympic medalist.
Canada’s impressive list of 50+ Olympic medalists was uncovered by the Impowerage magazine, an online magazine for active 50+ Canadians. Magazine founder, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, says, “it’s great to see these older athletes proving that age is just a number. Their dedication to their sports is an inspiration to our readers and anyone who has ever let their age stop them from pursuing an opportunity.
To keep up with the 50+ athletes competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics and for a list of other 50+ Olympic athletes visit the Impowerage website.
Impowerage is an online magazine for active older adults. It regularly features inspiring 50+ athletes, entrepreneurs, and philanthropists. It also publishes articles on health, fitness, retirement issues, and more. Impowerage was founded by ophthalmologist, Dr. Carolyn Anderson in order to raise money for macular degeneration.