Meet the World's Oldest Gymnast!

SHAPE magazine
Healthy Living
September 18, 2012

by Alanna Nuñez for SHAPE.com

Johanna Quaas
Johanna Quaas

It looks like Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Jordyn Wieber might have some competition! The 57th Guinness Book of World Records was released on Friday, and among the winners was an 86-year-old German citizen named Johanna Quaas who won the title of oldest gymnast. Quaas practiced gymnastics as a child, but gave it up when she got married and had children. She later picked the sport back up later in life and competed in her first event at 57, according to the Daily Mail. In addition to gymnastics, she regularly practices yoga and runs.

All we have to say is, wow! Quaas just demonstrates that you're never too old to get healthy. In honor of Quaas, we rounded up some of our favorite fitness records. Here are five more inspirational fit women we love!


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1. Ernestine Shepherd: There's almost no one in the world who's in better shape than Ernestine Shepherd. Named the world's oldest female bodybuilder by the Guinness Book of World Records, the 75-year-old wakes at 3 a.m. each morning to lift weights, run, and put in a cardio workout.

2. The 2012 U.S. women's Olympic track and field team: Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison, Carmelita Jeter, and Bianca Knight shattered the previously held women's 4x100 world record of 41.37 by 0.55 this summer in London, coming in at a time of 40.82. While that 0.55 might not seem like a big difference, no other team in history has ever been able to come that close-until this summer.

3. Tao Porchon Lynch. At 93, Porchon Lynch, who's been named the world's oldest yoga instructor, could give Quaas a run for her money!

4. Tamae Watanabe: This May, Japanese citizen Tamae Watanabe became the oldest woman to ever climb Mt. Everest. The 73-year-old has no plans to slow down: She now helps other women take up climbing high mountains.

5. Gabby Douglas: We had to put another gymnast on the list! Not only was Douglas the first African-American woman in history to become the all-around individual champion when she took home the gold this summer in London , but she was also the first American to win gold in both the individual all-around finals and the team all-around finals.

RELATED: How Dara Torres Stays Fit at 40 and Beyond

Who else do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Paul Michael Hughes/Guinness World Records 2013 Edition

More on SHAPE:
10 Inspirational Older Women We Love
28 Powerful Women Share Their Best Advice
Our Most Inspiring Before and After Stories Ever

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