3 Australian Olympians who are breaking age stereotypes

THE 2016 Rio Olympic Games are right around the corner and although so far the only news to come from Rio seems to be bad, there's no doubt the athletes and watchers from home are excited.

Soon the like of Usain Bolt will be gracing our screens, the 29-year-old sprinter competing in his third Olympics in a row…and if you've seen him in action I don't need to give any further ado.

But it's the "older" athletes competing from Australia who we need to be highlighting, they are breaking down age barriers and challenging our assumptions about what the body can accomplish as it grows older.

But equally as inspiring are the "older" athletes who are breaking down ageist stereotypes that as you grow older your body cannot perform the same way. Well here are three "older" Olympians who will kick but at Rio and lucky for us, they all call Australia home!

Mary Hanna, Equestrian. Age 61. Born: 1/12/1954

This long-time Australian equestrian champion is the oldest competing Olympian at Rio this year. She has represented Australia four times at the Olympics in the discipline of dressage.

Born in Melbourne, she attended McArthur State School in Victoria before going to high school at Presbyterian Ladies College. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and her husband, Rob Hannah, is the chief d'equipe (leader) of Equestrian Australia.


Sue Hearn, Equestrian. Age 60. Born: 13/02/1956. Oldest on debut in 2016, 2nd AUS All-Time

This debuting Olympian gets her long-awaited chance after teammate Kelly Layne was forced to withdraw with an unfit horse.

She was first reserve and added to the Team on two weeks before the Rio Opening Ceremony. She was also the reserve rider for the dressage team for the Sydney 2000 Olympics but did not get the chance to compete.

Hearn makes her Olympic debut in Rio aged 60, the oldest member on debut of the 2016 Team. Only sailor Harold Brooke in 1960 was older on debut aged 61.

She will ride her 14-year-old warmblood gelding Remmington who she has had great success for several years. They won the Brisbane Grand Prix CDI in 2014 and 2015 and the combination have continued to produce improved performances in Australia and Europe during the qualification period.


Warren Potent, Shooting. Age 54. Born: 7/4/1962

This Australian sport shooter won the bronze medal in the 50 metre rifle prone at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

He won two of the four competitions during the 2007 World Cup season. In the 2008 ISSF World cup, he won two bronzes as well as the gold in the pre-Olympic event in Beijing, where he equalled Christian Klees's then world record for the final aggregate score.

At the 2014 ISSF World Championships in Grenada he became the 50 metre rifle prone World Champion.


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