Roger Federer is celebrating his 40th birthday on Sunday in hopes of adding to his 20 Grand Slam titles despite an unconvincing return to the sport after two knee surgeries.
AFP Sport takes a look at five other stars still competing at an age when many of their contemporaries have long turned to the comfort of an armchair.
Tom Brady – 44
– The football superstar’s quarterback turned 44 on Tuesday, but shows little sign of slowing down. Brady has won seven Super Bowls: six with the New England Patriots and one this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He was also the oldest player to be named MVP in a Super Bowl following the 31-9 victory over Kansas City.
“I feel blessed and ready for the year 22 !!” Brady tweeted Wednesday after celebrating his birthday.
Ant – 43
– Brazilian footballer Formiga has played more than 200 times for her country since making her international debut at age 17 in 1995. The club midfielder’s career has taken her from Sao Paulo to Malmö, New Jersey , Paris Saint-Germain and many intermediate stops.
In Tokyo this week, Formiga became the first player to compete in seven Olympics.
“I plan to play football until I’m 45. I love that. It will be difficult to stop, ”he said in Tokyo, where Brazil was eliminated by Canada in the quarterfinals.
Valentino Rossi – 42
– Nine-time motorcycle world champion with seven of them in the premier class, Rossi said on Thursday he would finish this season and then retire after 26 years in the sport.
The charismatic Italian’s last MotoGP world title returned in 2009 and he lost his seat with the official Yamaha team after a 15th place finish in the truncated 2020 campaign.
This year he was riding for the Yamaha satellite team, but is currently 19th in the standings.
His dream of equaling Giacomo Agostini’s record of eight first-class world titles will now remain exactly that.
Venus Williams – 41
– Winner of seven individual Grand Slam titles (five at Wimbledon and two at the US Open) and former world number one. Williams also has 14 major league women’s doubles titles and two mixed titles.
She was an Olympic gold medalist in singles in 2000 and added three more doubles to the Games alongside her sister Serena. Currently ranked 110th in the world, the last of his 49 singles titles came to Kaohsiung in 2016.
Chris Gayle – 41
– Cricket star Gayle, nicknamed “Universe Boss”, has been captain of the West Indies and has played more international matches for the team than any other man.
He’s also just one of four hitters in history to have two hundred triples in tryouts and one of six to have a double century in ODI.
Still as a member of the West Indies T20 team, Gayle’s skills are generally confined to franchise cricket these days – he has played 437 T20 games and scored over 14,000 points.
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