46-year-old gymnast sets age record at Tokyo Olympics – TODAY

    Like all of her fellow Olympic gymnasts competing in Tokyo, Oksana Chusovitina is petite, incredibly agile, and explosively fast.

    What makes people take it twice is their age.

    Reading: Oldest women’s olympic gymnast

    At 46, Chusovitina is the oldest Olympic gymnast in history, making the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the eighth time she has competed in the Summer Games. The 5-foot-tall, 97-pound dynamo represents Uzbekistan and she hopes to qualify for the final on the vault, her specialty, which will take place on August 1. 1.

    He told reporters this week that these Olympics would be his last.

    “My son is 22 years old and I want to spend time with him. I want to be a mother and a wife,” Chusovitina said, according to the tutor.

    made his Olympic debut nearly 30 years ago and has since won two Olympic medals, one gold and one silver.

    She’s not the only Olympian to turn heads for her age in Tokyo.

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    the usa team. uu. includes runner abdi abdirahman, 44; racer Robyn Stevens, 38; and equestrian Phillip Dutton, 57. Romania’s Marian Dragulescu, known as the “Vault King,” is 40.

    Gymnastics is especially taxing on bodies, with many athletes peaking in their teens and early 20s, and retiring soon after. Injuries abound as the little competitors flip, twist and fly through the air. it’s a sport where 30 looks old and 40 downright old.

    so the longevity and ability of chusovitine to stay in tip-top shape is incredible. age really is just a number, she said.

    GYMNASTICS: FEB 24 World Cup Melbourne

    Chusovitina performs on the balance beam at The World Cup Gymnastics Final on February 24, 2019, at Melbourne Arena in Australia.Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    “On the podium, everyone is the same whether you are 40 or 16. You have to go out and do your routine and your jumps,” Chusovitina told The Associated Press in 2016.

    “but it’s a shame there are no points for age.”

    “I had no pain, no problems” while training, chusovitina told the agency at the time, adding that she didn’t know how she kept fit and could thank her parents’ good genes. speaking with journalists in 2021, she said that she feels good physically.

    It’s still a youth game, and as athletes get older they need to adjust their training, but the right genetics combined with the right coaches can result in great performances, said nicole detling, assistant professor of sports science and exercise in college. from utah.

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    “It’s absolutely true that we lose flexibility and agility with age,” Detling said today. “however, there are some abnormalities that can be maintained through ‘older’ ages.”

    Born April 19, 1975, Chusovitina first competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, ​​five years before current gymnastics star Simone Biles was born, where she won a gold medal by teams for the unified team formed by the former Soviet republics.

    She’s been back ever since, coming out of her river retreat. chusovitina is competing against teenage women, which could allow you to take advantage of her superior experience or make things more daunting. How does a large age difference affect an athlete’s mindset?

    “If she sees it as a hindrance, it is. If she uses it as an advantage, it is,” Detling said. “I wish she worked with a mental skills coach to learn to see it as an advantage.”

    chusovitina could take our advice. swimmer dara torres, who won an olympic medal in 2008 at the age of 41.

    “I had to dig deeper into myself, rethink how I train my body and ask new questions about what makes a person stronger and more flexible, both in body and mind. In other words, I had to understand how not to let my age get in my way,” torres wrote.

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