Maybe it’s modern medicine, maybe it’s greater access to information, or maybe they’re just ridiculously talented. Some sports are being bossed by particular athletes for much longer than usual, but why?
Take tennis for example. In 1992, the average age of the top 10 men’s players was 23.2 years. In 2002 it was 24.5 and in 2015 it was 29.7. Incredibly, the first Grand Slam of 2017, the Australian Open, was won by two 35 year-olds – Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
It is the new “Moneyball” calculus in sports: Who will defy time? And for how long? Take a look some of the oldest athletes in sport still competing at the very top level today.
Tom Brady 41
Tom Brady is a the legendary quarterback for the New England Patriots in the NFL. He’s now 41 and still killing it on the field, he is becoming so iconic it’s probably easier to explain his success in bullet points!
- He is one of only two players to win five Super Bowls and the only player to win them all playing for one team
- Regular season wins by a starting quarterback (200)
- Most touchdowns thrown to different receivers (71)
- Division titles (15)
- Playoff games started (37)
- Playoff wins (27)
- Playoff touchdown passes (71)
- Playoff passing yards (10,226)
- Super Bowl appearances (8)
- Super Bowl wins (5)
- Super Bowl MVPs (4)
- Super Bowl touchdown passes (18)
- Super Bowl passing yards (2,576)
Brady also makes it onto our list of greatest NBA players of all time
Roger Federer 37 Tennis
At the rip old age of 37, Roger Federer has long outstayed his time as one of the best tennis players in the world. been named the ATP Player of the Year and ITF World Champion five times. He has won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times, including four consecutive awards from 2005 to 2008 and the most recent one in 2018. In 2018 became the first man to win twenty Grand Slam titles and also returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings. He is currently ranked 3rd in the world and has showing no signs of retirement yet! There is a good reason why he is well known as the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all time)
Serena Williams 37 Tennis
This 37 year old tennis legend has has won 23 women’s Grand Slam tournaments and even after having a baby has shown no signs of slowing down. The Women’s Tennis Association ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002.
Unlike Federer, Williams has not slipped down the rankings in between big performances (Apart from giving birth to her daughter in September 2017). She has shown incredible consistency and power right through her thirties and at 37 years old the american is still ranked 16 and rising rapidly since her break last year.
Tiger Woods 42 Golf
Our choice as the GOAT of golf and he’s back! In 2018 Woods turned things around with a top 5 in the British Open followed by a remarkable a 2nd place finish in the USPGA, his best finish in a major since 20019. 16 months since his arrest for a DUI, Tiger rapidly moved from 656 in the world to 13 in the world inside 1 season, all eyes were on him Coming into the PGA Tour Championships. There was a huge amount of excitement, his millions of fans around the world knew it was only a matter of time before he struck gold again, and he didn’t let those fans down. On the 23rd September 2018 Tiger Woods secures his 80th PGA tour victory winning by 2 shots.
Phil Mickelson at 48 also deserves a mention here, he’s still doing his thing on the course and ranked within the top 25 in the world.
Here’s a little tribute we previously wrote for him. Tiger Woods – The Greatest Golfer
Petr Čech 36 Soccer
The Czech professional footballer who play as goalkeeper for Premier League club Arsenal. He is the former captain for the Czech Republic national team. He has saved 1005 goals and made 443 appearances in the Premier League at the time of print.
Vince Carter 41 NBA
At 41 years old, Carter is the oldest athlete in the NBA. His veteran leadership and versatile game have helped him find a roster spot year after year. While there’s no one secret to Carter’s longevity, he spends a ton of time on recovery and believes a strong core is essential to his resiliency.
Dirk Nowitzki 40 NBA
he Dallas Mavericks have relied on Dirk Nowitzki to lead their team since he first debuted in 1998. The veteran power forward used an unorthodox style and a golden fadeaway jumper to cement himself as a first-ballot Hall of Fame member. At 38 years old, Nowitzki has clocked enough minutes to break down even the toughest of bodies—nearly 50,000 as of February 2017. It’s hard to tell if this season marks the last time Nowitzki will take to an NBA floor. If it is, basketball will be losing one of its all-time greatest players and characters.
Matt Cullen 41 NHL
At 41 years old, Matt Cullen is the oldest active player in the NHL. He’s currently on a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2018-2019 season. Cullen is closely followed by Zdeno Chára, a defenseman for the Boston Bruins. At 41 years old, he is the second-oldest active player in the NHL and at 6-foot-9, he’s also the tallest player to ever appear in the NHL.
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