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Meet The Nonagenarian Who Is A Record-Breaking Weightlifter

Edith Murway, shown here training at her gym, discovered powerlifting at 91. Now, days away from 100, she holds the Guinness World Record for oldest competitive powerlifter (female).
Guinness World Records/Edith Murway
Edith Murway, shown here training at her gym, discovered powerlifting at 91. Now, days away from 100, she holds the Guinness World Record for oldest competitive powerlifter (female).

Edith Murway will not be among the athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics this year, but she is a world record-breaking weightlifter.

At 99, Murway, who lives in Tampa, Fla., recently set a Guinness World Record for oldest competitive powerlifter.

"I lifted 150 pounds," she told Morning Edition. "And that was a deadlift off the ground. And that got everybody really interested in this little old lady who was busy trying to lift a bunch of weights."


She lifts for the applause

Murway says she started powerlifting at 91 when her friend wanted a workout buddy "and she dragged me kicking and screaming all the way to the gym."

But as a former dancer, she quickly fell in love with the challenge of weightlifting. And especially with competing.

"This probably sounds silly, but the thing I like the most is the applause," Murway confessed. "When people like what I'm doing and they wave their hands and yelp and screech, I feed on that."

COVID-19 has kept her away from those adoring fans and her trainer for more than a year. At first, getting back into her training routine was tough.

"It's like starting all over again," she said. "But it's a challenge. And it's a lot of fun. And it's something that I never thought I would be doing, and here I am doing it."

Murway, who is also a great-great-grandmother, turns 100 on Sunday.

"I think in my 90s," she said in her official Guinness winning statement, "I became more aware of the need for people to be recognized for who they are, or what they are, or how they are, and it's the most beautiful thing in the world."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Alfin Johnson
Emily Alfin Johnson is a producer for NPR One.
Nina Kravinsky
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