Friday, July 12, 2013


Yuichiro Miura, 80
Seniors are certainly pushing the boundaries in all areas. We have Yuichiro Miura, 80, the oldest man to climb Mount Everest, Fajar Singh, 102, the oldest man to run a marathon, and Dilys Price, 81, the world's oldest woman skydiver.

There's also Johanna Quaas, 86. The Guinness Book of World Records named her the world's oldest gymnast. Her display of strength and agility on the parallel bars is simply jaw-dropping.

Dilys Price, 81
The current crop of octogenarians and nonagenarians are re-defining the meaning of "old". They have changed forever our perception of the elderly. The traditional image of grandma sitting in the rocking chair by the fireside has long disappeared together with knitting socks. Dancers, models, yoga instructors, chefs, divers, surgeons, body builders - the sky, not age, is the limit to what the 'elderly' can do these days. We need new labels for these active senior citizens who simply refuse to age.

Ernestine Shepherd, 76, oldest woman body builder
Fajar Singh, 102, the undisputed oldest runner ever

As for youthfulness, who can beat the evergreen Grammy award-winning Tony Bennett? At 86, he has retained his good looks and is still making waves on the music scene, collaborating with much younger artistes like Lady Gaga, 27. By the way, he will be in Kuala Lumpur for a concert at the KL Convention Centre on September 9. 

The oldest actress is Betty White, 91. She recently made a comeback in the comedy series "Hot in Cleveland" now showing on Astro Channel 702. The world's oldest fashion model is Carmen Dell’Orefice, 82. She has been a model for nearly 70 years, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Carmen Dell’Orefice, 82, supermodel. 
Click here for more photos.

The new elderly are not only capable of amazing physical feats, but also of mental agility and sharpness. An excellent example is Israel's prime minister, Shimon Peres. He celebrated his 90th birthday last month.

And for fitness and good health, it would be hard to beat Prince Phillip, 92. He recently underwent abdominal surgery, and after 11 days recovered well enough to walk out of the hospital unaided!

Shimon Peres celebrating his 90th birthday with Barbra Streisand, Clinton and Netanyahu
Prince Phillip leaving the hospital 11 days after surgery

And right here in our midst we have our very own Dr S. Subramony, 77. He was featured in the article "Punching Fit" recently. The septuagenarian works out at the gym daily and follows a rigorous exercise regime that would put to shame men half his age.

Iron man: ‘Go on, punch me ... hard!’ Dr S. Subramony, 77, seems to be saying as
he invites trainer Nabil Afiq to punch him in the stomach. – SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

So the next time someone asks you, "How long would you want to live?", your answer should be "At least 100!" If we take care of our health, who is to say that we can't all live to a ripe old age, still fit and still living life to the fullest.

Banish forever the thought that growing old means growing frail and senile. It doesn't have to be so, as these 'elderly' men and women above have shown.

Related articles:

Age-Defying Role Models

Age is just a Number... 

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