People in their late 30s and early 40s are still considered to be young and at the peak of their lives. Right? Well not in professional sports where an athlete is considered “over the hill” by the age of 35.
It’s funny because a lot of athletes are staying in great shape these days and some actually say that they feel better now than they did in their 20s.
While it’s true that their production level starts decreasing after the age of 35 many athletes still continue productive careers until age 40.
Shaquille O'Neal is having a great year at 36 when many believed his best days were over. Kurt Warner helped the Arizona Cardinals reach the 2008 Super Bowl at age 37 when he had practically been forgotten.
Then there are those who continue to play a major role even after 40 years of age like Chris Chelios and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who won two NBA championships in his 40’s.
It is true that not all sports are the same because hockey and football puts more of toll on bodies than baseball or golf. In addition, the generation that an athlete competes has a lot of influence on conditioning.
Nevertheless, any sport requires participants to be at the physical and mental peak and when athletes in their 40’s are still dominating in their sport that is a major accomplishment.
Try not to obsess over the rankings because everyone has their different opinions and criteria and it is difficult to judge. Instead it’s important to realize that every athlete on this list deserves to be here and celebrated for their achievements.
I may have even missed some athletes and you are welcome to mention them when you make your comments. Let’s begin!