At 91, Johanna Quaas is becoming an international star. As the world’s oldest gymnast, she pulls off moves like cartwheels and headstands, and even has the strength to balance herself on only her arms on the parallel bars.
On Wednesday, she will appear on NBC’s “Little Big Shots: Forever Young” (July 5, 8 p.m. ET), where she will perform on the parallel bars, and be surprised by Olympic champion and five-time medalist Simone Biles.
Here’s a preview of Quaas on the show:
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) June 30, 2017
Quaas, who lives in Germany, competed in her first gymnastics meet at 10 years old. Then, due to World War II, she was forced to give up the sport.
Unfortunately, her love affair with the sport ended abruptly with the start of World War II, when all children and youth were enlisted to serve Germany in one way or another. Ms Quaas helped out with farming work, among other duties.
After the war, gymnastics was banned in East Germany as the country focused on team sports instead. Ms Quaas played handball and was a member of the team that won the Eastern German Championship in 1954.
Then she got married, had three children and became a gymnastics instructor to young athletes. (Straits Times)
It wasn’t until she was 57 that she began competing again. And, she hasn’t slowed down one bit. In her latest performance in early June at the International German Gymnastics Festival in Berlin, she impressed the crowd with this routine.
So, what motivates Quaas to keep moving?
“If you are fit, it is easier to master life,” she said.