Former Olympian is still performing gravity-defying gymnastics routines at 84

Former Olympian is still performing gravity-defying gymnastics routines at 84

How often do you go to the gym? That's a question that's sure to make most people stare guiltily at their shoes. Can you imagine that you'll still be working out in your old age? Or would you prefer to put your feet up in front of the TV when you're retired? Not many people would be willing to perform incredible feats of athleticism in their 80s. But maybe, if you were a former Olympian, it would come naturally to you anyway.

Majorie Carter, now aged 84, was a member of the Britain's gymnastics team at the Helsinki Olympics back in 1952, and again at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. But those two achievements aren't her biggest claims to fame. Now the octogenarian has made a name for herself by hitting the gym hard in her twilight years; working out three times a week at the gym in the McCarthy and Stone retirement home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Elderly gymnast Majorie Carter. Credit: Press Association

Marjorie was first captivated by gymnastics upon seeing a display at a local cricket field at the age of nine. She soon signed up for weekly classes and was trained herself by former Olympian Edith Pollard. She won the title of Yorkshire novice champion when she was 16, and kept training until she was able to reach an Olympic standard. She even met the recently-crowned Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh.

Marjorie still has fond memories of her Helsinki experiences, stating: "Being there was exhilarating, it was such an honour to represent my country. Those memories of the opening ceremony will last a lifetime. There was no funding, so we’d paid for our own uniforms, which we wore when we were out together or being interviewed."

Elderly gymnast Majorie Carter practising gymnastics in the 50s. Credit: Press Association

"It was a grey skirt, white blouse, grey bag and white shoes – eight girls, eight different shades of grey and styles of shoe. We’d had to work incredibly hard to afford to be there, so it’s wonderful to see all the funding now. It helps give that level playing field, and ensures athletes can focus on their sport."

In a recent interview regarding her incredible workout regime, Marjorie started: "I still make sure I train now – I’ve never, ever stopped. You need to keep as healthy as you can to live longer. It’s particularly important in older people to help maintain that independence and mobility. As they say, ‘use it or you lose it.'

Elderly gymnast Majorie Carter. Credit: Press Association

Marjorie spent the rest of her career working as a coach, nurturing young talent. But she kept with her training throughout her life, and even in retirement is capable of doing handstands and splits. In recognition of her extraordinary talents, Marjorie was awarded the McCarthy and Stone's Most Inspirational Older Person award in 2018. It just goes to show you that life doesn't end once you reach 60, and that a healthy lifestyle can ensure that you're capable to living life to the fullest once you've finished with work.