Saturday April 29, 2017
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Johanna Quaas, German gymnast and Guiness World Record’s oldest gymnast, promotes active ageing. — TODAY picJohanna Quaas, German gymnast and Guiness World Record’s oldest gymnast, promotes active ageing. — TODAY picSINGAPORE, April 29 — This 92-year-old great-grandmother is the oldest active gymnast in the guinness world record, and has at least 11 medals earned during her senior years.

Johanna Quaas, who is German, was in town for the International Ageing Week where she wowed audiences with gymnastic routines that included handstands and a segment on the parallel bars.

Quaas gained internet fame in 2012 when a video of her at a training session was uploaded to YouTube. She was 86 at the time. She was named the “World’s Oldest Gymnast” by the Guinness Book of World Records that same year and has held on to the title since.

Quaas said she started gymnastics when she was just three-years-old, and entered her first competition when she was nine, back in 1934. She stopped competitive gymnastics in 1945, but continued to remain active in the sport, working as a gymnastics coach and was the coach for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics German national team. She eventually also married a fellow gymnastics coach in 1963, with whom she has three daughters.

It was not until she was 57 that she decided to return to competitive gymnastics, at the encouragement of her friends. And just a few months later, Quaas was back at collecting medals again at local and national competitions in Germany.

When asked how it felt to be back on the mats at age 57, Quaas said with a laugh: “It was fun.”

A typical day for the petite great-grandmother includes two hours of training, and she alternates between training on gymnastic routines and workouts at the gym on machines.

Quaas continues to compete in competitions in Germany every year, often with competitors who more than 25 years younger than her.

On keeping fit and active in spite of her age, Quaas said: “When you are in good physical shape, then life is easy.” — TODAY

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