Sometimes the best way to push ourselves is by looking to the people around us for support, inspiration, and competition. Iron sharpens iron, so to get you moving even faster toward your fitness goals, here’s our list of six incredible athletic achievements from the last year.
Tom Brady Wins It All… Again
In February Tom Brady did something – actually several things – we’ve never seen before in professional football. At age 43, he became the oldest player to win a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback and the oldest Super Bowl MVP in league history. Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers took down the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9, led by Brady himself, who threw three touchdowns in the first half. His sustained run of success is unprecedented. This was Brady’s seventh Super Bowl title, and when he won his first championship with the New England Patriots back in 2002, then 24-year-old Brady was actually the youngest quarterback to ever win a title.
Sydney McLaughlin Turns Promise Into Gold
Twenty-two-year-old American Sydney McLaughlin turned heads at the Tokyo Olympics, earning hero status in her battle with fellow American and defending Olympic and world champion Dalilah Muhammad in the 400-meter hurdles. In the world of track and field, McLaughlin was an up-and-comer, an exciting new name who had great success as an amateur, winning Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year two years in a row and becoming the first to do so. But Tokyo proved to be McLaughlin’s entry into the spotlight. In her thrilling race with Muhammad, McLaughlin chased down the former champion in the final stretch, running a blistering pace en route to a new world record of 51.46 seconds. With her gold medal, she also became the youngest medalist in event history. It’s safe to say we’ll be hearing more from McLaughlin in the years to come.
Arthur Muir Proves It’s Never Too Late
On consecutive days in May, two climbing records fell at the world’s tallest mountain. At age 75, Arthur Muir became the oldest American to reach the 29,031-foot summit of Mount Everest. A former lawyer, Muir only took up mountaineering at age 68. Have a new challenge you want to conquer? It’s never too late to get started!
Tsang Yin-Hung Pushes the Pace
One day earlier, Hong Kong’s Tsang Yin-Hung broke the record for the fastest ascent of Everest by a woman, summiting in 25 hours and 50 minutes – where climbers typically take multiple days to complete the feat. The former teacher’s achievement proves that the next world-record holder could come from anywhere.
Shohei Ohtani Breaks Baseball
Professional athletes often say that hitting a baseball traveling near 100 miles per hour is one of the hardest things to do in sports. But what if the same player could throw that pitch and hit it, too? This year Los Angeles Angels pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani played two-way baseball better than anyone ever. At the plate, he hit balls like this, finishing the year third in home runs with a whopping 46. On the mound, he went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA, notching 156 strikeouts. His unique achievement peaked in one game against the White Sox when Ohtani registered both the hardest hit ball of the year and the fastest pitch of the year. We’ve never seen anything like Shotime.
Lya Bavoil Lifts More
Powerlifter Lya Bavoil is breaking records and stereotypes on her way to the top of her sport. The French native competes in the 63-kilogram weight class (about 139 pounds), and she throws around serious weight. In September, Bavoil broke three International Powerlifting Federation records, setting new highs for squat (452 pounds), deadlift (508.2 pounds), and total (combining squat, bench, and deadlift for 1,208.1 pounds). Bavoil’s mindset is just as impressive as her performance. She has talked about how living with Asperger’s Syndrome doesn’t keep her from her goals but has actually helped her become her best. Bavoil shows the kind of strength that inspires strength in others, too.
Get out there and tackle that mountain in your life! For more articles on health and fitness, plus ways to keep moving around Willow Park, Texas, check out our Olympus Willow Park blog.