It’s been a full year since we first told you about 92-year-old gymnast Johanna Quaas, the small-in-stature but larger-than-life gymnast from Germany.
At an age when getting dressed or loading up into a car can be tiring, Quaas is still doing cartwheels, headstands, and working the parallel bars better than most people in their 30s.
She’s the oldest competitive gymnast in the world, but her skill and ability at 92 is simply jaw-dropping.
Here’s a clip of a recent performance in which she goes inverted on the parallel bars, balancing on her shoulders, and then transitions into holding her entire body parallel to the bars using only her arms. Her dismount? Nothing short of perfect.
Quaas got her start in competitive gymnastics at 10 years old, according to the Straits Times, but when her family moved from Saxony in then East Germany to a different part of the country, she was forced to quit. When World War II erupted, she was required, as were all children, to do a year of social service. So, she worked on a farm.
When the war ended, gymnastics were banned, so she took up handball and even won the Eastern German Championship in 1954.
After raising three children and coaching youth in gymnastics, Quaas decided to dip her toes into the sport again at the age of 57.
She trained with two friends, who have since passed, and began competing at the national level.
“My proudest moment so far was when I was 84 years old and there was no one in my age group competing in the championships. So they put me with the others in the 70-75 age group and I still won by one point,” she said.
Quaas cross-trains for one hour a day, not only focusing on gymnastics, but incorporating hiking, swimming and dancing into her routine.
And, it’s proved to work wonders as the great-grandmother climbs into her 90s. As of 2017, she wasn’t taking any medication.
With calluses on her hands, it’s no surprise that Quaas takes the “when there is movement, there is life” approach to aging. And she has the medals to prove it.