Being an athlete puts a strain on your body. The world’s top athletes, both men and women, push their bodies to the limit to make sure that they are ready for any challenge day in and day out. They spent hours at the gym, on the court, pitch, ice, field or in the pool. They have trainers, conditioning teams, nutritionists and a set regimen that they follow. Their lives revolve around training, and it’s part of their job to ensure that they are at the top of their game and can continue winning.
So it’s no surprise when athletes retire after a decade, maybe 15 years, due to injury or exhaustion. When you put so much pressure on your body, you’re bound to be burnt out at some point, some earlier than others.
It’s more surprising when they keep playing and playing and playing and all of a sudden they’re over 40 years old and still starring in their respective sports. This list is for those athletes, the ones who withstood the test of time and continued playing their sport, and winning. They are basketball players, swimmers, boxers, baseballers, cyclists, you name it.
Karl Malone, Pete Rose, Dara Torres, Gordie Howe and so many more. Their love and passion for the game and competition seems to be never-ending, and they weren’t ready to give up until their bodies forced them to. Some of the athletes on this list are still playing, some already completed their farewell tour and joined the retired life.
Granted, the more technology, conditioning and science advance, more and more men and women are and will be added to this list. With all of these advances, the sky’s the limit for athletes, and retirement is postponed.
So here they are, 40 athletes who continued to compete, and win, at the age of 40:
The big man played until he was 42 years old. Dikembe Mutombo turned 40 after the 2005-26 season, and played three full seasons after his 40th birthday. During those three seasons in Houston, his numbers went down, including the number of games he played. He was averaging just around 3.0 PPG and 5.9 rebounds. But he did become the oldest player in league history to record 20+ rebounds in a single game, when he tallied 22 rebounds in March 2007.
The goal for any basketball franchise is to build a dynasty that fans and experts will be talking about for