You know about Oksana Chusovitina, Jordan Jovtchev, Blain Wilson, competing in their 30's. The mean average of the competitive gymnast is getting older, but you still get the tv commentators calling an 18 year old gymnast old.
Check out this story (it's under the Gymnastics News & Blogs category):
"38 year-old gymnast defies odds (The Capital)"
[quote]At 38 years old, Mrs. Wise of Davidsonville, has managed to tumble, balance and flip her way into the regional competition in Charleston, W.Va., after placing seventh all-around in the 15 and older age group at the Maryland state finals last weekend in Columbia. The regional championship in May will draw gymnasts from six states in the mid-Atlantic area.
Mrs. Wise is the oldest gymnast on the Level 8 team at Rebounders Gym in Timonium, but she said has developed a bond with her teammates despite the fact that the oldest other girl is a high school senior.[/quote]
[quote]Mrs. Wise began her gymnastics career at the age of 10 and was training at the "elite" competition level by the time she was 13.
Shortly after her 14th birthday, with a trip to the Olympics on the horizon, a bad tumble left her with two shattered wrists and an injured back.
"I could only bend my back a little on the right side and I couldn't even pick up a heavy plate of food," she said.
Her wrists weren't the only broken things. At an age when most elite gymnasts are training for Olympic gold, Mrs. Wise was forced to walk away from her dream.
She didn't step on a mat or balance beam until she was 28, she said, when a visit to her former gym and a conversation with the gym's owner motivated her to enroll in adult classes.
Doubtful about her skills but thinking it might be "fun," she began attending weekly lessons.
A year later, Mrs. Wise said she "started to pick up the skills again somehow."
Craig Tetrault, who coached the adult team at Rebounders, asked her to begin training with the team. She emphatically agreed.
Another injury, this time torn ligaments in her knee, required reconstructive surgery that she said was "botched" by the surgeon and left her with a fragile and unstable knee.
After a year of intensive rehab Mrs. Wise returned to the gym, this time wearing a large brace to support her knee, which she continues to wear in training and competition.[/quote]
Her knee brace reminds me of John Roethlisberger (by the way his coach was his dad, like many other elite gymnasts!), competing floor with his huge knee brace.
[quote]Mrs. Wise juggles her training, competition and traveling with work and her sons Connor, 4, and Bryan, 9- months-old. She takes care of her boys and her bookkeeping duties before practice and leaves the children with a nanny while she trains.
"It's tough having to take care of the children and work and then get up the energy to do a four-hour practice," she said. "I can only train two days a week because my body is so sore and fatigued the next day."[/quote]
Why not do 2 hour practices, 4 days a week?
[quote]"I've proven that even with a 14-year retirement, you can relearn a lot," she said.
And she plans to make up for the time she lost while she was injured.
"I hope to continue training and competing for at least the next few years," she said. "Next year I'll be 40, but you wouldn't know from looking at me. Gymnastics keeps me young!"[/quote]
"how late is too late to start gym?"
"Gymnastics classes for adults"
"Beams & Handsprings, Now for Adults (The New York Sun)"