In a world where it’s easy to get winded up while running errands, only a handful of people step out of their comfort zone for a sport they love. An even rarer sight is to see people in their 80s or 90s actively participate in events and games. Even in the Olympics which have become synonymous with timeless sports, it is uncommon to see participants as old as 90. So, it is only natural that the world came together to cheer for the 92-year-old marathon runner at Paris Olympics 

Charly Bancarel is an ordinary Frenchman, who has accomplished an extraordinary feat. An Instagram video of the nonagenarian posted from the official ‘Olympics’ account has gone viral and is currently inspiring millions. In the video, the 92-year-old gives ‘chasing your dreams’ a new meaning as he runs with people easily half his age, if not less. The cherry on top is that his run is not even the most exciting part of the video.  

Across the Finish Line


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Recently, the official page of ‘The Olympics’ took to Instagram and posted the video of Charly Bancarel crossing the finish line and completing the Paris Marathon. They applauded the Frenchman through the video captioned “Tears of pure joy as he crosses the finish line.  Prove that it’s never too late to chase your dreams.” The caption was followed by an emoji of a man running. 


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The netizens’ reactions to the achievement are heart-warming, to say the least. Many took to the comment section to express their admiration and support. Bancarel gave the world a new perspective on age and ambition when he told News in France- “We don’t stop when we grow old, but we grow old if we stop.”

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Even though it may seem like Bancarel is a seasoned runner, he actually took up running at 55.  The Frenchman ran his first ever Marathon at 70. Now 92, he finished the Paris Marathon at 7 hours, 22 minutes, and 11 seconds securing the 50,769th position. A total of 50,800 runners completed the Marathon. His training includes running 6 miles daily. He even alternates it with cycling. In an interview, Bancarel revealed, “At the end of each year, I write down how many kilometers I have cycled and run: in 2016, 1,000 kilometers of races and 3,300 of bike, in 2017, 770 and 3,800.” Now with Paris Olympics in the bag, it’s only natural to wonder what he plans to do next.

What’s Next for Charly Bancarel

Bancarel has competed in over 10 marathons with Marathon du Médoc being the first he ever ran. With the Paris Olympics ticked off his list, one would think that he would finally rest his running shoes. On the contrary, though, the Frenchman has already set his sights on the Marathon Pour Tous at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.


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Bancarel had a personal goal of completing the Paris Marathon in under 5 hours. Even though he couldn’t achieve the time he set for himself, he crossed the finish line and set an example for millions out there. It would be interesting, to see if he can finish his next marathon in under 5 hours and set a record for himself in the times to come.

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