Its Olympics fever all over the world and if you thought that Olympics or any other sport is for young only, you need to give it a second thought! Age and Sports- some people might think- are two worlds far apart from each other. However, this isn’t the truth. While there are certain limitations of age that put some restraints regarding sports that old player can indulge into, age as a whole doesn’t bar you from becoming a player and even an Olympics player! If you don’t believe it, check the Olympic players, rather senior Olympics players and tally their age with the one that you think one must stop playing!
Is Olympics for Old Players Too? Check This Out!
Does Age Stop Players? No if we go by the age of many senior players participating in Olympics 2012 at London! There are 187 athletes here who have crossed the age 40 and many are in there 50s and even 70s. Hiroshi Hoketsu from Japan is the eldest player at Olympics at 71 years of age who competed in the dressage for Japan. Afanasijs Kuzmins, the Latvian shooter and Ian Millar, the Canadian show jumper both are 65 years old players. Many sports persons in their 50s are participating in equestrian and shooting competitions. There is Lesley Thompson-Willie, the 52 years old female rower from Canada and 54 years old Nick Skelton, the show jumper from Britain who have won silver and gold respectively in Olympics. Having said that, it must also be mentioned here that the average age of players in Olympics this year is 26, thanks to the younger players in 13-16 age group otherwise it would have been much higher seeing the number of senior players competing at Olympics this year! So, does age affects sports anyway? Yes it does in certain ways and for certain sports but the will is foremost- if one wants to play even at older age, he/she can with the right training and right body management. But how does aging affects sports?
How Aging Affects Sportsmen?
There are certain factors that come and go with age such as strength, flexibility, reaction time, and experience. These age factors affect sports in different ways- positively and negatively.
People at tender age (read children) and very aged players both will have lesser strength than their counterparts in 20s and 30s because it is this age when it’s easier to build up strength and muscle mass.
Human body is flexible when young and tends to lose suppleness with aging.
Also the capacity of oxygen usage falls with age.
Older people become prone to injuries and diseases.
Elders react slowly to any stimulus.
But older people including the senior players are more experienced and they know how to deal with a complex situation.
So, what’s the conclusion then? Some sports that require a lots of strength, flexibility, quick reaction, more breathing capacity may not be suitable for aged players. For example, boxing, running, gymnastics, etc. However, there are many sports that do not require much of strength, flexibility or endurance capacity and thus young and old players both can compete with each other in such sports. Some of the examples of such sports include those which need accuracy or concentration like shooting, chess, dart, equestrian etc.
Leaving all the arguments aside, there are many old players who love to indulge in strength requiring sports, even adventurous sports like mountaineering and trekking! Thus, the moral of the story evaluating age and sports say if you are older but you are healthy enough, you can still play any sport of your choice and can even fetch an Olympics medal or two! One option to be healthy with aging is to slow down the aging process. Read How to Slow Down the Process of Aging?