If asked to think of powerlifting, the mind tends to conjure images of young athletes in their prime. Theirs are bodies honed in the gym, physiques that denote their passion before they need tell anyone. For anyone on the outside, it can certainly seem daunting: walking over to the weights section of the gym, where groaning men stand over the machines like towering sculptures. But if you needed any inspiration to start, just look at Edith Murway-Traina. A great-great-grandmother, former dance teacher, and renowned life of the party, Edith also just happens to be the oldest competitive powerlifter in the world.
Having recently turned 100 on August 8, you’d have expected Edith to slow down. But proving that age is just a number, Edith continues to lift heavy and train hard. Now, even the Guinness World Records has acknowledged her status, formally crowning her with the title. In a release, the Guiness World Records wrote: “Lifting weights upwards of 40-150 pounds, Edith is smashing the competitive powerlifting circuit, dazzling viewers and judges alike with her graceful lifts.”
Remarkably, Edith joined a gym only nine years ago - at the tender age of 91. The Tampa-based lifter was encouraged by a longtime friend to join as she wanted to get active, and Edith admits that she was practically dragged to the gym “kicking and screaming.”
In an interview with the Guinness World Records, she explained: “While I was watching those ladies doing their thing, I thought I just as well should pick up a few bars, and I did. Going on a regular basis, I found that I was enjoying it, and I was challenging myself to get a little bit better and a little bit better. Before long, I was part of the team.”
It didn’t take long for Edith to cement her place as a serious contender on the powerlifting circuit. Despite being in her 90s, she wasted no time in become highly decorated in the competitions and she’s already run out of room in her home for all of her trophies. “Once people found out I was in my nineties and I was doing all of these things, it got to be more noticeable,” she said. “People got to pay attention more.”
Like all of us, the global pandemic forced Edith to lockdown and as gym closures swept the world, it meant she had to take some time off competition. But as restrictions now loosen and the gyms reopen, Edith is looking to make her competitive comeback at her next meet in November. We look forward to seeing what she accomplishes. If anything is clear, the sky’s the limit for Edith.