This early 2017 has become a showcase of sorts for age becoming a non-factor in high-tier professional sports. We’ve got Roger Federer and Serena Williams making a killing at the Australian Open in their 30s, and in Federer’s case despite injuries. In the recently concluded Super Bowl LI Tom Brady of the New England Patriots led his team to victory in the NFL’s newest comeback record of a near 20-plus point deficit at halftime. He got his fifth Super Bowl championship and fourth Super Bowl MVP out of it at one year shy of 40. But other sporting events have their great age-beating stories too, like a Canadian who went on to become the oldest world champion at skiing.

Becoming champion where it all began

Well, perhaps skiing isn’t quite the major draw in international sports news unless perhaps it’s a Winter Olympics event. Still, the Super Grand Slalom or super-G event during the Skiing World Cup last Wednesday February 8 at Switzerland’s St. Moritz, a past Winter Olympics venue, became yet another place of professional competition wherein thirty-something athletes got a chance to wow their audience. This was exemplified by veteran Canadian skier and 2011 downhill world champion Erik Guay, age 35, when he won first place at the St. Moritz super-G.

It was something of a full-circle moment for Guay, who first skied down those slopes way back in the 2003 skiing world championships.

With his latest victory over a decade later, the Canadian couldn’t quite help but shed tears at the winner’s podium. “Luckily,” as he says later in a phone interview, “I had my goggles on, so nobody could see that.” He notes that it takes will and determination to remain a viable pro competitor in most sports once an athlete reaches their thirties.

He’s therefore proud not just to keep up with younger challengers but to be able to stay ahead of them.

Youth’s the future, oldies’ the present

As stated, Erik Guay’s triumph occurred mere three days after Tom Brady’s leadership of the Patriots to win Super Bowl LI, and weeks after Federer and Serena Williams made 35 years old look strong at the Australian Open in January.

In golf, Sergio Garcia came out on top at last week’s European Tour Dubai Desert Classic at age 37, somehow softening the inglorious humbling of the once gigantic Tiger Woods, 41, who dropped out of contention after only the first round.

Back to Erik Guay, he wasn’t alone in the oldie winners during the St. Moritz skiing world cup. American Lindsey Vonn may not have completed her super-G run, but will compete for the downhill on Sunday February 12, a cinch perhaps for the 2010 Winter Olympics downhill champion.

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