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86-Year-Old-Gymnast Shows the Kids How it’s Done
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It’s fun to watch those crazy kids with their parallel bars, their cartwheels and handstands, the full planches at the bars, their rolls and handstands. You or I could do that too, sure, if we were still fourteen years old. But what about Johanna Quaas? The 86-year-old German has wowed audiences at the 2012 Cottbus World Cup, where, decked in an green leotard, she jumped, spinned, twirled, and burst into handstands, cartwheels, and backwards rolls.

The feat was not exhausting for the octogenarian, who practices on the parallel bars daily “just for fun.” She doesn’t bother to compete anymore, because contenders in her age group don’t hold a candle.

“I want to give others a chance too. And to perform against 70-year-olds all the time is no fun after a while.”

  
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She could add that she’s also getting overwhelmed with media attention, and has even taken to hiring a media agent. She gained the spotlight after appearing on a health program on German television in early March, and after a video of her performance went viral on YouTube garnering more than 1.4 million views.

Quaas is keeping up with a lifelong activity with sports and competition. In 1954 she was part of the handball team that won the Eastern German Championship. She also for years was a sports teacher.

She is a reminder that age is never a good excuse to give up regular exercise (though the rest of us can always find another good excuse!)

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