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Redefining the word ‘old’

Riding on life

Robert Marchand, a French cyclist known across the world, has recently hung his helmet up for competitive cycling at the age of 106-years of age. His record-breaking pedalling across about 22km in an hour, at the national velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, was one of his many performances that got the world’s attention. While he may have already hung his helmet up, Marchand continues to remain an active cyclist.

Beating the odds

Having survived cancer, Mary Houbolt decided to do something ‘monumental’ when she turned 60 in celebration of this defeat. With a new lease on life, Houbolt decided to enter an Ironman challenge.  The endurance race consisted of approximately 4km of swimming, 180km of bicycle riding, and 42km of running. After her first taste of this race, Houbolt has since entered in 9 other Ironman competitions and over 20 triathlons.

Defying stereotypes

Don’t give up on your passions because just because of your age. Yvonne Dowlen, a 90-year old figure skater, shows us all that if you truly love doing something, you will not stop being involved in it. On a short National Geographic film of Dowlen’s career, she says “It’s easier to skate than walk.”  Just months before passing away, Dowlen made her last appearance on the ice at the South Southern Family Sports Centre in a US competition.

What we can learn from these outstanding individuals is that being a certain age should define what you are allowed to do or participate in. It also reminds us all that we can continue our passions as longs as we want to or start something brand new at any time.



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