Age is one thing that is always working against you if you just so happen to be a world- class athlete.
For Olympians, its even harder to stay competitive when the premiere event in your sport only comes around every four years.
Some Olympic sports see their athletes peak at 16, and others rely on an entire group to obtain glory, so ranking the oldest American Olympians was quite a task.
One has to consider the type of sport, the historical relevance and the entire career of the athlete when comparing them to others.
Here are the 15 best American medal winners, all of which could have been considered too old to become a champion.