Inspiring “silver” sports stars

While grand slam tennis players and Olympic swimmers tend to peak in their 30s or even 20s, not all sports call for perfect knees, ripped abs and serious stamina. Big dreams are possible at any stage of life, and these inspiring sports stars prove that no matter what your age you can still be the best.


Jacinto Bonilla

A CrossFit fiend, Jacinto masters WODs (workouts of the day) like there’s no tomorrow. On his 69th birthday, there was even a WOD named after the silver-haired legend. Today, the “Jacinto Storm” slams CrossFit trainers with 69 squats, 69 wall balls, 69 pull-ups, 69 push-ups, 69 kettlebell swings, and 69 deadlifts.

Julie Brougham

Our very own homegrown heroine, Julie Brougham is a sassy equestrian competitor that recently represented New Zealand at the Rio Olympics. She’s been an accomplished horsewoman all her life and currently holds the Australasian record for Grand Prix Freestyle to Music. Amazing work Julie.

Pat Gallant-Charette

Pat may have taken up swimming just 15 years ago but she quickly went on to become one of America’s most admired athletes.  A retired nurse and grandmother, she began training after her younger brother passed away from a heart attack. She wanted to compete in a local Maine ocean swim in honour of her sibling, and now she’s on her way to becoming the oldest person to complete the utterly exhausting Oceans Seven circuit. This includes spending over 10 hours in the Cook Strait. Wow.

Man Kaur

Earlier this year, Indian athlete Man Kaur touched down in Auckland to compete in the World Masters Games. And the most incredible thing? She’s over 100 years old. Despite the fact that she has severe osteoporosis of the spine Kaur still competed in the 100 metre and 200-metre sprints, plus javelin and shot put. If she’s not an inspiration, who is?

Sister Madonna Buder

Known as the “Iron Nun,” Sister Madonna Buder is one seriously impressive 80 something year old. In fact, she’s such a feat that she’s the face of Nike’s new Unlimited Youth video that celebrates her incredible triathlon and Ironman (or should we say woman) career.

Feeling inspired? Here are some rewarding sports that you may want to consider taking up.

If you consider yourself to be a bit of a sports star, or if you have tips to share with others trying to get active, why not consider writing for GrownUps?