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13 Athletes Who Are Over 50 and Still Going Strong

Sister Madonna Buder (90)

Sister Madonna Buder (90)

Having completed 45 Ironman races, Sister Madonna Buder picked up the moniker “Iron Nun.” Sister Madonna is still going strong competing in triathlons. In August 2016, she was the sole participant in the over 85 age group and recognized as such at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship awards ceremony. 

(Image via Instagram)

Fauja Singh (110)

Fauja Singh (110)

Fauja Singh has been marathon running for just over ten years. The death of Singh’s son prompted him to pick up running. Before retiring in 2013, he ran nine full marathons and picked up the nickname the “Turbaned Tornado.” Singh is the first person over 100 (on record) to finish a marathon and was torchbearer for the 2012 Olympics. He finally retired in 2013, one month before turning 102 years old.

(Image via Instagram)

Willie Gault (60)

Willie Gault (60)

Willie Gault spent 11 seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders. During that time he made a name for himself as one of the fastest NFL players in history -- not so surprising given he was also setting records in track and field as a young man. Now that he’s retired from the NFL, he’s devoting himself to track, and it’s really paying off. Gault set new records for age groups 45-49, 50-54, and most recently 55-59.

(Image via Instagram)

Eileen Philippa 'Phil' Raschker (74)

Eileen Philippa 'Phil' Raschker (74)

Phil Raschker is a masters athlete who began competing in swimming and gymnastics in 1983. While working as an accountant, Raschker picked up scores of gold medals at World Master’s Athletic Championships along with 10 outdoor and 12 indoor masters records; three of those gold medals were achieved in her sixties. 

(Image via MastersTrack)

Martina Navratilova (64)

Martina Navratilova (64)

Martina Navratilova is a Czech American tennis player -- in fact, Tennis magazine dubbed her the tennis player from 1965-2005. According to her website, Navratilova has “won 59 Grand Slam crowns [and] a record 9 Wimbledon singles champions.” Her career spanned 40 years as both player and coach. At 60 she was still winning the French Open & Wimbledon. Although in the “legends” bracket, she competed against players 20 years her junior. 

(Image via Instagram)

Diana Nyad (71)

Diana Nyad (71)

Diana Nyad is an author, speaker, and journalist, and long-distance swimmer. She swam around Manhattan in 1975 and from the Bahamas to Florida in 1979. In 2013 at the age of 71, she completed her (fifth) attempt to swim approximately 110 miles from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida--without even a shark cage! Nyad has also participated in an episode of Dancing with the Stars, been in a music video for Macy Grey, and performed her own solo show Onward - The Diana Nyad Story

(Image via Wikipedia)

Richard “Butch” Johnson (65)

Richard “Butch” Johnson (65)

Butch Johnson has been to the Olympics for archery five times since 1996. In 2012, he tried out for a sixth go at it. But at 56 years old, Butch came up just shy of his sixth trip. Instead of retiring, he turned around and came in second at the 2012 National Target Championships, not to mention taking home a silver medal from the 2012 Hoyt World Open, keeping his reputation as one of the best American recurve shooters. 

(Image via Pinterest)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (59)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (59)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee was one of the most decorated female Track-letes in Olympic history. Her husband was her coach. Joyner-Kersee retired from track-and-field when she was 38, largely due to exercise-induced asthma. She founded the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center Foundation in 2001 and the USA Track and Field Organization board in 2012, managing to stay in her field despite medical restrictions. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Michael “Butch” McColly Johnson (67)

Michael “Butch” McColly Johnson (67)

Butch Johnson played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Oilers, and the Denver Broncos. During his stint as the third receiver and return specialist, he made what is rated by ESPN as one of the top catches and plays in NFL history. Now Johnson grants his education as preparing him to be a successful businessman in the world after professional sports.

(Image via UCR Today)

Billie-Jean King (77)

Billie-Jean King (77)

Billie Jean King is a tennis legend known for her efforts at equal pay for women athletes and is one of the first openly homosexual athletes. She made her first headlines in 1961 and won Wimbledon, French Open, and the US Open in 1972. She captained the U.S. Olympic team in 1996 and 2000, earned the presidential medal of freedom in 2009, and was among the first inductees into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Nancy Lopez (64)

Nancy Lopez (64)

Nancy Lopez started her golf career at age 12. By 1976 she was Female Athlete of the Year and went on to win more than 50 tours. She retired in 2002 but tried to come back in 2007-2008, unfortunately not making the cut. However, she did start Nancy Lopez Golf, a company that makes women’s clubs and other golf accessories.

(Image via Gannett CDN)

Nadia Comaneci (59)

Nadia Comaneci (59)

Nadia Comaneci is a Romanian gymnast who not only took 4 gold medals but was the first woman to make a perfect 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event. She was named among the 100 most influential women of the century. Now she co-hosts Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular as well as working with her husband to support several charities and run several gymnastic-related companies. 

(Image via Facebook)

Bonnie Blair (57)

Bonnie Blair (57)

Bonnie Blair won six Olympic medals, is “the most decorated woman in Winter Olympics history,” and holds a world record for speed skating according to Bio. In 1994 Sports Illustrated named her Sportswoman of the Year, and ten years later she was in the US Olympic Hall of Fame. She retired from speed skating in 1995 and has donated her time to the Bonnie Blair Charitable Foundation and actively working with several other foundations. 

(Image via Wikipedia)