Who are the oldest champions in sports?

Who are the oldest champions in sports?

Illustration for article titled Who are the oldest champions in sports?
Image: Getty Images

Sports aren’t always a young person’s game.

It may be rare, but some athletes have been able to extend their careers well into their thirties, forties, and even fifties. Few have won championships. Look no further than what Phil Mickelson accomplished yesterday winning the PGA Championship at the not-so-tender age of 50.

So, who are the other oldest champions in sports? Let’s start with the one we just witnessed.

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Men’s Golf Major: Phil Mickelson

Men’s Golf Major: Phil Mickelson

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Image: Getty Images

At 50, Old Man Mickelson won the 2021 PGA Championship Sunday. With the win, he beat Julius Boros (48), Jack Nicklaus (46), and OLD TOM MORRIS (46, looked like he was 106) to become the oldest major winner in men’s golf history.

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Olympics: Oscar Swahn

Olympics: Oscar Swahn

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Thought OLD TOM MORRIS looked like he didn’t belong near any sort of athletic field? Wait till you meet the oldest Olympic gold medalist.

Oscar Swahn was a Swedish shooter who won gold in the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm as a 64-year-old. It was his third Olympic gold in riflery. Eight years later, he won a silver medal in the 1920 games at 72.

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Women’s Golf Major: Fay Crocker

Women’s Golf Major: Fay Crocker

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In 1960, Fay Crocker (top row, far right) won the Titleholders Championship at 45 years old. Crocker didn’t become a professional golfer until she was 39, but a year after turning pro she won her first major (U.S. Open). The Titleholders Championship would be her second and last major win.

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NBA: Robert Parish

NBA: Robert Parish

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Robert Parish (seen here l. with Michael Jordan) finished his career with the Bulls in the late 90s. He didn’t play much, but he got his fourth ring in 1997 thanks to Jordan and Co. Parish retired a few months later, days before his 44th birthday.

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WNBA: Taj Mcwilliams-Franklin

WNBA: Taj Mcwilliams-Franklin

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You thought it was Sue Bird, didn’t you? You’re close.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin was days away from her 41st birthday when she won a title with the Minnesota Lynx back in 2011. Bird, 40, will turn 41 on October 16. October 19 is the last possible finals date for the WNBA. Could this be the year Bird breaks the record? Or will we just have to wait till 2022.

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MLB: Jack Quinn

MLB: Jack Quinn

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At 46, Quinn became the oldest player to win a World Series in 1929. A year later, he broke his own record winning back-to-back titles with the Philadelphia Athletics. Since then, the only player to come close is Jamie Moyer. At 45, Moyer won the 2008 World series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Women’s Tennis Slam: Serena Williams

Women’s Tennis Slam: Serena Williams

Illustration for article titled Who are the oldest champions in sports?
Image: AP

At 33, Williams broke Martina Navratilova’s record for the oldest woman to win a major in the Open era. Naturally, Serena broke her own record at Wimbledon the next year and the year after that at the Australian Open as a 35-year-old. At 39, Williams hopes to break her own record again.

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Men’s Tennis Slam: Ken Rosewall

Men’s Tennis Slam: Ken Rosewall

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On a 100-plus degree day at the 1972 Australian Open Final, Ken Rosewall, 37, became the oldest Grand Slam winner in the Open era. He beat Mal Anderson — not much of a young stud either, at 36 — in 7-6, 6-3, and 7-5 sets.

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Women’s World Cup: Christie Pearce

Women’s World Cup: Christie Pearce

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American Christie Pearce came into the 2015 World Cup final in the 86th minute. At 40 years old, she became the oldest woman to play in and win a Women’s World Cup. She retired from the game in 2017.

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Men’s World Cup: Dino Zoff

Men’s World Cup: Dino Zoff

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The goalkeeper and captain of the 1982 Italian national team (seen here rasing the World Cup trophy) led his team to a World Cup win at 40 years old. After the tournament, the ol’ geezer was named the best goalie of the tournament.

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NHL: Chris Chelios

NHL: Chris Chelios

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At 46, Chelios became the oldest player to win a Stanley Cup. The defensemen did so with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

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NFL: Tom Brady

NFL: Tom Brady

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Yeah, you knew this one was coming.

After winning his seventh Super Bowl, Tom Brady became the oldest NFL player to win the big game.

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