You miss my point Kady, it’s not a matter of age but physical wear and tear that gets athletes. Footballers get a lot of knocks which damage those joints. There was a player years ago named Stanley Matthews who played for top class teams until he was 50, but the game was not played at the same hectic pace then.
As for loss of mental ability, that’s not a consistent decline. I lost about a third of my brain tissue to a haemorrhage twenty years ago, the prognosis was I would lose cognitive skills and memory. Well I lost mobility & had to sell my Triumph TR6 because I can only drive automatics now, but if anything I’m even more of an ace at pub quizzes than before (no work problems on my mind.) My correct answer rates are as good as ever and the quick recall is still there.
My mother is 90, physically she’s very fit but on my frequent visits it now take about half an hour to help her understand who this old man claiming to be her son is. Here Ian is still a ten year old buy. Sometimes though she will call me Joe, which was my Dad’s name, throughout the visit. The brain is a mysterious organ and its ageing process is only slightly understood.
And we have a distance runner now, Jo Pavey, she surprised the world by winning a major championship at age 42. Now she is prepping to qualify for a sixth Olympic games at the age of 46. She knows she will not beat the Kenyans and Ethiopians, but if she qualifies she will be there in the final doing what she loves and putting in similar times to what she ran when in her 20s.
It’s not ageism that defeats these people it’s they physical and mental wear and tear imposed by training regimes and finding the will to keep doing it.