Longevity in sports is such an underrated achievement. As one age, the body takes a beating. That’s why most Olympians are either in their twenties or thirties. That’s why it is remarkable to hear about Claudia Pechstein who will turn 50 years this year, competing in her 8th Winter Olympic games. It actually should have been a record-breaking 9th Winter Games had she not missed the 2010 Vancouver Olympics due to a ban.
At the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games, she will compete with much younger athletes, many of whom were not even born when she won her Olympic medal at the 1992 Albertville Games. At the Beijing Olympics, she will aim to win her 10th Olympic medal in her remarkable career.
Pechstein qualified in the mass start, a game that involves sprinting, jockeying for positions and clever tactics. This game debuted four years ago in Pyeongchang 2018 Games and features 24 skaters racing 16 laps at the same time.
Pechstein is a federal police officer in Germany and continues to train to keep her in top physical shape. To do this even at 50 years and competing at such competitive games is remarkable.
Age, after all, is just a number.