The oldest gold medalists in Olympics history

Picture taken in the 20's of French fencer Lucien

The Olympics isn't always about the up and coming talent or the new kids on the block. Sometimes veterans of sport can overcome the odds and take home the gold.

Throughout the Olympics' history, there have been fairy tale stories, whether it be a 13-year-old claiming gold, or a Jamaican sprinter smashing world records with great ease, the Olympics always provides memorable moments.

Ahead of Rio 2016, it's time to look back at past Olympics and reveal who are the oldest competitors to win gold at an Olympic Games.


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We've provided you with the youngest ever winners, but now it's time to look at the other end of the spectrum, thanks to the info-graphic put together by the Athletic Edge Physiotherapy, and pay tribute to the older generation that managed to take home the gold for their countries.

38-year-old winner

Although this isn't the oldest ever gold medalist, it's probably one of the better achievements.

At 38-years-old, Romanian Constantina Dita claimed gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing when she won the marathon. Yes, that's right, Dita overcame the pack and won gold for Romania, completing the run in 2:26:44 hrs.

Despite claiming gold that year, she didn't run her personal best. That came three years prior to the Olympics when she ran a marathon in just 2:21:30 hrs.

Four years later and she was back running the marathon, this time at London 2012. However, she sadly finished 86th with a time of 2:41:34 hrs.

41-year-old winners

The next event we turn our attentions to is fencing, because two 41-year-old's have claimed gold in this sport during the Olympics.

Picture taken in the 20's of French fencer Lucien

The first was French fencer Lucien Gaudin. During the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdan, Gaudin took home a gold medal for France, adding to his collection.

Gaudin has four Olympics gold medals to his name, and two silver medals, making him joint tied as France's most successful Olympian ever.

20 years after Gaudin, Hungarian fencer Ilona Elek also won a gold in fencing during the 1948 Olympics in London.

The Hungarian has won more international fencing titles than any other woman.

Ilona Schacherer-Elek

Four years on from her gold medal in London, she took home a silver medal in the 1952 Olympics, which were held in Helsinki.

42-year-old winner

Eclipsing the fencing duo by one year is American archery gold medalist Doreen Viola Hansen Wilber.

In the 1972 Olympics, held in Germany, Wilber won gold in the women's section of the first modern Olympic archery competition. She was aged 42.

In her first round during that Olympics, Wilber shot an impressive 1,198 out of a possible 1,440, but it was her second round that helped her win gold. She went on to shoot 1,226, which was a world record, and that was enough to ensure the gold.

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Sadly, Wilber has since passed away due to Alzheimer's disease, but her legacy in the Olympics lives on.


Who says you can't do anything once you near the 50 mark?

Well try telling that to Great Britain's George Hillyard. Back in 1908, he won gold in the tennis doubles alongside partner Reginald Doherty.

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Despite winning the gold in tennis, Hillyard was never a fan of the sport being in the Olympics.

In his book, 'Forty Years of First Class Lawn Tennis', he wrote: "As for lawn tennis in conjunction with the Olympic Games, the whole thing is a incongruous farce. You could as well have Olympic cricket or Olympic golf. It is difficult to believe that players or public can treat the matter seriously or care two straws about it. Why it is wanted, or tolerated, when we already have the Davis Cup, is beyond my comprehension."

46-year-old winner

Finally, the oldest ever Olympian to win a gold medal.

Back in 1904, Canadian George Seymour Lyon won gold in the golf at the American Olympics.

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Although it's easier to play golf when you are older, it's still an achievement that cannot go unnoticed and the fact remains, Lyon is the oldest ever Olympian to win gold.

In fact, he is the last man to win gold at a golf tournament in the Olympics as it wasn't held four years later and hasn't been held since. However, it is making it's return this summer at Rio.

Thanks to his achievements in golf, Lyon is now part of the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

So there we have it. The oldest Olympians to win a gold medal.

However, records are there to be broken, so this summer in Rio, be sure to watch out for those golden oldies that are out there to win gold.

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