86-Year-Old Gymnast Dominates the Parallel Bars


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This viral video from Mainz, Germany will put you to shame for ever complaining about growing old. Take a tip from 86-year-old retiree Johanna Quass, who has stayed healthy in her senior years by practicing daily on the parallel bars.

She has won 11 medals in the German senior citizen championships, and by the looks of it, she could win a few outside of the senior games.

This video captured at the Cottbus Challenger Cup gymnastic competition shows Quaas performing a full planche on the bars, a move where you hold your body parallel to the bars while supporting yourself with your arms alone. This advanced move would be difficult for a gymnast half her age. I doubt most non-gymnasts can do it regardless of age or sex.

In her floor exercise routine she does handstands, cartwheels, and rolls with ease.

The two YouTube videos of her performances have accumulated over two million views a piece in a little over a week. She has been causing quite a stir, being featured in articles from msnbc to Mashable.

Quaas has given up competitive gymnastics, not because she can no longer do it, but because she got tired of winning all the time. “I want to give the others a chance too." she said to German television station MDR. She no longer has anyone her age to compete with, most of the people in her group are in their 70's or younger.

Though she has retired from gymnastics and the demonstrations at the Cottbus Challenger Cup were just for fun, she is getting more media attention than most professional gymnasts ever get. She has had to hire a media agent in Berlin to handle a recent onslaught of interview requests.

And I can't even touch my toes...