In preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics, Germany hosted the Gymnastics Challenge Cup in the city of Cottbus last month. And while gymnastics is often a sport that features 15-year-olds trying to look like 18-year-olds, one tumbler stood out — because she’s 86 years old.
Johanna Quaas set a world record while the younger competitors took a break between rounds of competition. Her floor exercise routine included cartwheels, handstands and somersaults. And in front of a cheering crowd, she executed a full “planche” on the parallel bars, raising her outstretched body parallel with the ground, supported by just her arms.
London’s Telegraph newspaper reported that Quaas picked up the sport at age 30. In an interview with Gymmedia, she recalled being a member of (then) East Germany’s championship handball team in 1954.
Quaas has won nearly a dozen medals in senior gymnastics competitions — but as she told a Mitteldeutscher Rundfunktelevision (MDR) broadcaster, “performing against 70-year-olds all the time is no fun after a while.”
Two YouTube videos of Quaas’ acrobatics have already been played more than 1.6 million times each.
Watch the 86-year-old gymnast Johanna Quaas’ floor exercise:
The parallel bars: If you can do this, you’re in better shape than the average Daily Caller reporter: