Chuck Norris laments retired athletes’ biggest challenge

Chuck Norris

I was 24 years old when I entered my first karate tournament. By the time I retired from active competition in 1974 as the undefeated six-time World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion, I was 34. According to my Winter Olympic metrics, that would make me twice the age of current American snowboarding champion Chloe Kim, the youngest female gold medalist at a Winter Games. I would also be twice the age of Red Gerard, who is also 17 and of the first athletes born after Jan. 1, 2000 to win Winter Olympics gold.

According to data compiled a couple of years ago, athletes start to see physical declines at age 26. For swimmers that age is 21. For setting world records in a given athletic discipline, the mean age is 26.1.

That makes 35-year-old Aksel Lund Svindal, Norway’s best-loved and most successful winter athlete, practically ancient. He


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