t 34 years old and someone who enjoys physically challenging myself I know that for a large number of sporting disciplines, my personal bests are in the past. Not that setting PB's are what it's all about, but following the Olympic games and hearing comentators say things like "the oldest athlete on the track" referring to Felix Sanchez who got Gold in the 400m hurdles at the same age as me is quite inspiring. Sanchez, from the Dominican Republic, was by no means the favourite and given his visible emotional state on the podium, it was a surprise to him too. Taking it a massive step further, I came across an American women, named Marie Kelleher who on May 12th competed in a US Masters Swimming meet and set a new world record.
At the age of 99 she swam in the 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle, certainly setting a national record for the 50m and potentially a world record for the 100m (for her age group). What an inspiration. Marie Kelleher has swam for a long time, which is proabably the secret to her good health. She swam in her first competitive race at the age of 65 when most people are hanging up their swimming hats after being urged on by her daughter to give it a go and has not looked back since. She swims 4 days a week first thing in the morning, drives herself to and from the pool and works at the family business, 'Kelleher Heating and Air Conditioning', proving how a healthy and active life can potentially improve the lifestyle quality in our senior years.
I know I'm a long way off hanging up my hat and it's also good to see the benefits of a life of healthy living. If Olympic success inspires a generation of youngsters into sport, then Marie Kelleher should inspire all generations into sport, it's never too late.