Older adults — including the Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes — are defying stereotypes about what it means to be an athlete. Reporter Tara Bahrampour of The Washington Post interviewed OATS Executive Director Tom Kamber and 2022 Senior Planet Sponsored Athletes Carolyn Hartfield, Keo Capestany, and Sally Saenger to highlight how “people in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s are performing feats previous generations might have had a hard time imagining.”
In the article, Dr. Kamber challenges people to rethink their beliefs about what older adults can accomplish:
“When we have these prejudices, they really hold us back on a group level. People start to be restrained by those parameters,” [Kamber] said. But seeing older people engage in high-risk or physically grueling activities “gives us a chance to check our ageism a little bit [and] widen the spectrum of what we think is possible.”
Saenger highlights how her participation in surfing — a sport often thought of as a “young person’s activity” — inspires up-and-coming athletes:
It’s “like they’re thinking, ‘That could be my mom, or my grandma,’” Saenger said. “I think they appreciate that I’m out there surfing at my age, because there’s not a lot of us out there.”
Click here to read the full article.
Photo by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post