World Elder Abuse Awareness Day | Age is Just a Number

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What will you do when you are old? In recognition of the UN’s “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day”, Spotlight tells about very old people doing very amazing things!

Voice 1

Hello and welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

 
Voice 2

And I’m Roger Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

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Voice 1

Wang Deshun walks proudly down a long runway as people watch. He is a model on a “catwalk” stage at a fashion show. Want has a strong body and is full of confidence. But he is not like the other young fashion models. He is 79 years old!

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Many people may think that older people at the end of their lives cannot do much more. However, Wang Deshun is only one of many people who are achieving great things later in their lives. In fact, many people do not even start finding success until they are in their 50s, 70s, 80s and even beyond! Today’s Spotlight is on amazing older people showing how to be happy, healthy and successful in life. We start with more about Wang Deshun.

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“My name is Wang Deshun. Born and raised in Shenyang, China. Many people started noticing me after a catwalk fashioin show. Some people call me “Hottest Grandpa.” Some also said that I am an immediate Internet sensation. But you know what? To prepare for this day, I have been getting ready for 60 years.”

Voice 1

Wang Deshun shared this in a video from RedStart media. He says that he did not feel successful when he was young, or even middle-aged. In his 20s he was a theater actor and artist. He continued performing and worked in fashion. But at age 49 he was very poor. At the age of 50 he started exercising at the gym. When he was 57 Wang started performing again. It was not until he was 79 that people heard about Wang. He shared his own dreams, and encouragement for others:

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“I am 80 this year. And I still have some life in me! I still have some dreams to achieve. Believe me, there is a lot you can do, even when you think it is too late. Be careful you do not let age become your excuse for giving up. No one can keep you from success except yourself. When it is time to shine, be the brightest.”

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“My name is Ernestine Shepherd. I am 77 years of age and I am a bodybuilder. I do the same thing day in and day out. I eat the same thing day in and day out. I do it because I cannot tell anyone to do anything if I am not doing it.”

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The World’s Oldest Female Body Builder is Ernestine Shepherd. She started lifting weights when she was 56 years old. She began exercising with her sister. Then, suddenly, her sister died. After this, Shepherd stopped lifting weights. She did not want to do anything. Then, she thought her sister would want her to continue. Shepherd began to exercise again. Now, at age 80 she is still a body builder.

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The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Shepherd. But she is more than a body builder. She also teaches exercise classes in her city of Baltimore in the United States. She teaches people in her community how to be healthy at any age. Shepherd told Prevention Magazine the advice she gives to her classes:

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“Not everyone wants to be a body builder. Not everybody wants to be a runner. But find what you like to do. I say to my older ladies and the men: Do not forget – age is nothing but a number.”

 
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Younger people often feel a lot of pressure to be successful. They may already feel discouraged in their 20s. They feel they should achieve more. It can give young people hope to see older people have success later in life. These examples show that it is never too late.

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Older people have found success and joy in art, science, exercise, and businesss. In 2016, Colette Bourlier of France finished her PhD degree – the highest level of schooling. She worked on this degree for 30 years! But she did not give up her goal. Bourlier was 91 years old when the Université de Franche-Comté awarded her PhD.

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As people age, their bodies and minds are not as strong. But it is possible to stay strong, both mentally and physically. Many people reach goals in sports and physical fitness when they are older. Hidekichi Miyazaki of Japan started racing at age 90. He still runs the 100 metre race. He is now 105 years old! Mieko Nagaoka is also from Japan. She is the world’s first 100-year-old to swim the 1500 metre race.

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Johanna Quaas is from Germany. She is also the oldest gymnast in the world. Many older people who practice sports begin them later in life. But Quaas started gymnastics when she was very young. Gymmasts are usually teenagers! They must be very strong; their bodies must bend easily. Quaas is now 92 years old. She can still lift her whole body up with her arms. She told the Straits Times:

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“My face is old but my heart is young. If you are fit, it is easier to be in control of life. Maybe the day I stop doing gymnastics is the day I die.”

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Do all these people have something in common? Well, they eat different diets. They enjoy doing different things. But all the people in this program do have some things in common. They take care of themselves. They do what they enjoy doing. They are not afraid to try new things. And they do not give up As actor and model Weng Deshun told the New York Times:

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“One way to know if you are old or not is to ask yourself, ‘Do you dare try something you have never done before?’ Nature decides age, but you decide your state of mind.”

 
Voice 1

What is something you want to do when you are older? Are you doing it now? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on our Facebook page at facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 2

The writer of this programme was Rena Dam. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called “Age is Just a Number”.

Voice 1

Look for our listening app in the Google Play store and in iTunes. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

Question:

What is something you want to do when you are older? Are you doing it now?

Join the discussion

8 comments
  • Today I understood that old age begins with one’s birth; in fact the question: quanti anni hai? In English it translates: how old are you? Then all together in good company, with the dogs, cats and the other guests of the ark, we are ready for navigation. Certainly the older ones, having more experience, can help us maintain the right course, especially in case of bad weather.

  • Thank you I enjoyed to listen to this podcast today
    Actually I don’t think about it …
    But now I try to find something I enjoy to do …

  • i hope that when i was older to be fit and have healthy body. then i hope to keep my mind in the proper state.

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