Former Olympic champions are among more than 28,000 competitors from 95 countries gathering here for the seventh World Masters Games, getting underway on Saturday.
While the majority of athletes are Australian, around 8,000 international competitors are expected to participate in the 28 different sports in a tournament open to all abilities with an age range of 24 to 101 years.
Among the more than 200 Olympians taking part are gold medallists including Spanish archer Juan Carlos Holgado (1992 Games), Soviet water polo stars Mikhail Ivanov and Sergey Kotenko (1980), American rower Kent Mitchell (1964) and German canoeist Mario Von Appen (1992).
The highest profile international Games competitor is Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who will take part in next week’s sailing competition.
The Olympians on show include at least one from each of the past 17 Olympics dating back to Berlin in 1936.
The oldest is Canadian swimmer Noel Morrow, 90, who competed at the so-called Hitler’s Games 73 years ago.
The world’s largest multi-sport event has attracted a diverse field of competitors, the youngest being 24 year-old Canadian swimmer Facundo Chernikoff. At 101 years, Australian lawn bowler Reg Trewin is the oldest.
Brisbane great grandmother Ruth Frith is the oldest female competitor at a sprightly 100, and she has been bench-pressing 35 kilogram weights to prepare for her field events, the hammer, discus, javelin and shot.
“You know how it is,” Frith said. “You want to try to compete with those younger folk in their 90s.”
Canada has the biggest international group with a total of 2,200 competitors at this year’s Games.
Former Australian football captains, Charlie Yankos, Alex Tobin and Paul Wade, all part of the national teams of the 1980s, have been tagged the “Olderoos”.
Former Wallaby rugby captain Phil Kearns will also take part in the three-kilometre open water swimming event.