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If You Believe Simone Biles Is Too Old for the Sport at 25, This 97-Year-Old Gymnastics Granny Might Force You to Think Otherwise

Published 01/18/2023, 8:15 AM EST

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While most people complain about back pain in their early 30s, this German gymnastics grandmother is busy breaking the barriers of age. The 97-year-old Johanna Quaas, titled the oldest gymnast in the world, has become an inspiration for millions of people, including the likes of Simone Biles and Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis.

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In one of her recent Instagram posts, Davis shared an “old” floor routine of Quaas, which will make you wonder – Can I start doing gymnastics too? And is Biles really old for the sport?

Bend it like Johanna Quaas!


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Yet again, Quaas trended on social media, as Viola Davis shared a throwback video of the gymnast from the German Gymnastics Festival in 2017. A stunned Davis wrote in the caption, “Umm…..Johanna? You are my spirit warrior!! Wow!! GOALS!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️… 96 year old, Johanna Quaas, never stopped following her dreams 🤸‍♀️”


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A post shared by VIOLA DAVIS (@violadavis)

Quite a few believe that gymnastics is a “young sport”. And even a world-class gymnast like Simone Biles is often called out for her age and asked to retire from the sport. However, Quaas’s existence is enough to prove people’s mentality about the sport false.


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Once, when Biles was called in to surprise Quaas on a show, the GOAT revealed that she was amazed by Quaas’s skills and was left speechless after witnessing her parallel bars routine.

In 2012, Quaas made her way to the limelight with a viral video of her incredible floor and parallel bars routine at the Tournament of Masters. Since then, the German gymnast has often made the headlines, shocking the world every time she steps on the mat.

Quaas’s journey to the top

Born in 1925, since a very young age, Quaas had devoted her love for gymnastics and participated in competitions since the age of 10. But due to reasons unknown, she could not continue her passion for the sport and only entered professional gymnastics when she was 56.

In 2012, when the internet was still on the rise, Quaas began her journey to the limelight. The Guinness World Records named the then 86-year-old as the oldest gymnast, and she still holds the title. In the same year, Quaas also received the Nadia Comăneci Sportsmanship Award from the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame for her exceptional performance and commitment to the sport.


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A post shared by Johanna Quaas (@johannaquaas)

But, unfortunately, she had to retire from competing in 2018 due to a torn bicep. However, this did not stop Quaas from continuing her gymnastics journey and becoming an internet sensation. Many of Quaas’s gymnastics routines have millions of likes on various social media platforms, and fans continue to shower their love for the athlete on her Instagram account.


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Watch This Story: Baby Biles turns into Simone Biles, mother teases her about joining gymnastics

In a world where people think 25-year-old Biles is too old to participate in future Olympics, Quaas has been fighting all odds and leading by example to pave a path for other gymnasts. If at 97, Quaas can stun the world with her incredible moves, Biles definitely has a long career ahead of her.

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Written by:

Soumya Bontra


One take at a time

Soumya Bontra is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has been working as a sports journalist and writer for the past two years. Soumya has a Bachelor’s in Mass Media.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa