Roger Federer celebrates his 40th birthday on Sunday still hopeful of adding to his 20 Grand Slam titles despite an unconvincing return to the sport following two knee surgeries.
AFP Sport looks at five other stars still competing at an age when many of their contemporaries have long headed for the comfort of an armchair.
Tom Brady – 44
The American Football superstar quarterback turned 44 on Tuesday but shows few signs of slowing down. Brady has won seven Super Bowls – six with the New England Patriots and one this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He was also the oldest player to be voted MVP in a Super Bowl after the 31-9 win over Kansas City.
“Feeling blessed and ready to go for year 22!!,” Brady tweeted on Wednesday after celebrating his birthday.
Formiga – 43
Brazilian footballer Formiga has played more than 200 times for her country since making her international debut at 17 in 1995. The midfielder’s club career has taken her from Sao Paulo to Malmo, New Jersey, Paris Saint-Germain and numerous stops in between.
At Tokyo this week, Formiga became the first women’s player to appear in seven Olympics.
“I intend to play football until I am 45. I love it. It will be difficult to stop,” she said in Tokyo where Brazil were eliminated by Canada in the quarter-finals.
Valentino Rossi – 42
A nine-time world motorcycling champion with seven of those coming in the premier class, Rossi on Thursday said he will complete this season and then retire after 26 years in the sport.
The charismatic Italian’s last MotoGP world title came back in 2009 and he lost his seat with the factory Yamaha team after a 15th place finish in the truncated 2020 campaign.
This year, he has been riding for the Yamaha satellite team but is currently 19th in the standings.
His dream of equalling Giacomo Agostini’s record of eight premier class world titles will now remain just that.
Venus Williams – 41
The winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles (five at Wimbledon and two at the US Open) and a former world number one. Williams also has 14 women’s doubles titles at the majors and two in mixed.
She was the 2000 Olympic gold medallist in singles and has added three more doubles at the Games alongside sister Serena. Currently ranked at 110 in the world, the last of her 49 singles titles came at Kaohsiung in 2016.
Chris Gayle – 41
Cricket star Gayle, nicknamed ‘Universe Boss’, has captained the West Indies and has played more international games for the team than any other man.
He is also just one of four batsmen in history to have scored two triple hundreds in Tests and one of only six to have a double century in ODIs.
Still a part of the West Indies T20 squad, Gayle’s skills are usually limited to franchise cricket these days – he has played 437 T20 games and scored over 14,000 runs.