Johanna Quaas is the world’s oldest active gymnast. Johanna was born on the 20th of November 1925 in Germany, and now, in her 90’s shows no signs of slowing down.
Johanna’s interest in sport started at an early age. She first appeared in a gymnastics competition in 1934. She attended the obligatory social year (Pflichtjar) after completing school.
She then worked as a gymnastics coach in Stuttgart.
In 1945, Johanna was forced to abandon gymnastics after it was banned by the Allied Control Council. She moved to Weibenfels where she started working as a handball coach.
She returned to gymnastics two years later after the ban was lifted.
Johanna enrolled at the University of Halle-Wittenberg in 1950. Later, she worked as a trainer of coaches at the InstitutfürKörpererziehung.
Around the same time, Johanna coauthored “Gerätturnen”,a textbook on gymnastics. She did her training at the HSG Wissenschaft Halle and worked as a coach of gymnasts at SC Halle.
Some of her notable students at the time included Christel Felgner-Wunder. She was later nominated to represent Germany in the summer Olympics of 1964.
Johanna married fellow gymnast coach Gerhard Quaas. Together, they had three daughters. As a result of her marriage, she was unable to fully commit herself to gymnastics because of her responsibilities as a wife and mother.
However, Johanna’s passion for physical fitness would not keep her away from gymnastics for long. She would return to the sport at 1982.
At the time, she was 57.
Superpower – details
After her return and full dedication to gymnastics, Johanna has gone on to win numerous awards and break records in Germany and beyond.
Shortly after her return to gymnastics, she went on to win at the VII Turn- und Sportfest der DDR in Leipzig.
When Germany re-united, Johanna went on to start in all Deutsche Turnfeste from 1990 onwards. By 2012, Johanna had won at the German Senior championship an unprecedented 11 times.
Even with her remarkable achievements given her age, Johanna was relatively unknown in the world beyond Germany.
Her sudden break into prominence around the world came in 2012 when YouTube clips of her training were posted. The clips of the 86-year-old became an instant hit online. Before long, they had generated more than three million views.
Already famous in Germany, Johanna became an overnight celebrity around the world. Media houses in Germany and elsewhere covered her incredible story.
The world was fascinated, and at least 188 newspapers in China reported on her.
That same year, she received an entry into the GuinnessBook of Records as the oldest gymnast in the world. Her eight decades of commitment to the sport had finally received the deserved recognition.
World’s Oldest Gymnast
What can we learn from her?
The story of Johanna Quaasis an inspiration to people around the world. Her decision to return to gymnastics at the age of 57, when most people would have given up on their childhood passions, teaches us that it is never too late to revive our passions.
Her achievements show us that hard work and dedication always pay off, no matter how long it takes.
What is she is doing currently?
Johanna Quaas is still dedicated to her life’s passion. She still observes a strict exercise routine that involves yoga and running.
At 91, she still competes in Landes-Seniorenspiele, an amateur competition that is held in Saxony, Germany.