You’ve never too old to try something new or continue pursuing a passion you’ve had for decades. And in 2017, there were a number of highly impressive seniors—many of whom are 100 or older —who proved that the number of candles on a birthday cake have nothing to do with staying relevant, active and young at heart.
1. Rocking and Running
In April 2017, a relative newcomer to the international running circuit captured the gold medal in the 100-meter dash. The super sprinter, Man Kaur, a 101-year-old woman from India, won the event at the World Masters Games in New Zealand. The only participant in the 100-and-up age group, she took up running just a few years ago, at age 94. She won the same race last year won this race last year.
Kaur did a little dance after completing the race in just 74 seconds and through a translator, said she’s going to “keep rocking,” and that she’ll “never give up.”
2. A Grandma with Game
Eighty-two-year-old grandmother Shirley Curry keeps up with her 10 grandchildren and perfects her gaming skills at the same time.
The Virginia resident’s favorite video game to play-and record is Skyrim, but she also dabbles with other games that are more cinematic and story-driven. With over 264,000 subscribers and more than 7.5 million views on YouTube, the self-dubbed “Older Gamer” is also active on Twitter where she shares news of her gaming progress along with tips and strategies to complete game levels.
3. The Skiing Centenarian
At 106, Lou Batori sets records every time he takes a run down the snow-covered slopes of Glen Arbor, MI. Believed to be the oldest living skier in the world, "Hungary Today" recently dubbed Hungarian-born Batori the “Yoda of the Skis” in salute to his latest accomplishment.
Learning to ski in Hungary at the age of 10 on handmade wooden hickory skis equipped with leather straps for bindings, he has remained a competitive skier, participating in races into his early 80’s. Batori is the oldest National Standard Race (NASTAR) participant in history, and when he took to the slopes after his 80th birthday, pushed the limits of the racing organization’s boundaries, requiring the establishment of an 80-plus group.
4. The YouTube Cooking Sensation
Mastanamma, a 106-year-old great-grandmother in Andhra Pradesh, India, has taken over YouTube. The unlikely video star’s cooking video channel has more than 792,000 subscribers and 123 million views.
Filmed by her great-grandsonand his friend, Mastanamma is seen making everything from watermelon chicken and emu egg fry to snake gourd and milk curry and bread omelets. She also features traditional recipes based on Western dishes. In one video, she tries her hand at french-fry style chips and another tempts taste buds with chicken burgers dripping with slices of melting cheese.
Using basic implements, and usually peeling vegetables with her fingernails, Mastanamma cooks while sitting in big metal pans over a simple stove and slicing food with an old Indian knife known as a 'Bonti'.
5. Still Dancing
At 103, Australia’s Eileen Kramer has no plans of hanging up her dancing shoes or stifling her creativity. Learning to dance the twist from Louis Armstrong in Paris, the Sydney-born woman was a member of Australia’s first modern dance company, the influential Bodenwieser Ballet, and has said that the best years of her life have been since she turned 100 in 2014.
To counter some recent dizziness, Kramer has refined her technique of dancing sitting down, using expressive arm movement and gestures. And although she may no longer be able to leap around the room, she continues to effuse the true essence of the creative freedom and energetic release of the art form.
Named a national treasure the national Arts Health Institute in Australia, Kramer choreographed, made costumes for and starred in the production “A Buddha's Wife,” made in celebration of her 103rd birthday.