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Older Olympians bring experience to the Games

updated 6:04 PM EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
Who says an Olympic athlete has to be young to be spry? Seventy-one-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu, competing for Japan in dressage -- a choreographed equestrian exercise that shows off a horse rider's command of their horse -- is the oldest competitor at the London Olympics. Who says an Olympic athlete has to be young to be spry? Seventy-one-year-old Hiroshi Hoketsu, competing for Japan in dressage -- a choreographed equestrian exercise that shows off a horse rider's command of their horse -- is the oldest competitor at the London Olympics.
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Vintage Olympians
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jessica Crisp, 42, is competing with Australia's 2012 Olympic surfing team
  • Equestrian Nick Skelton is the UK's oldest gold medal winner so far at 54
  • Lesley Thompson-Willie, 52, is coxswain of Canada's women's rowing team
  • Horseman Ian Millar, 65, is competing in his 10th Olympic Games

(CNN) -- At 13, swimmer Adzo Kpossi of Togo is the youngest Olympian competing in the London Summer Games. At the other end of the spectrum is Hiroshi Hoketsu. Dressed elegantly in top hat and tails, the 71-year-old represents Japan in the dressage equestrian competition.

There are plenty of athletes competing in the 2012 Games who span the age range between Kpossi and Hoketsu, some of them well past their 30th year.

Photos: Celebrating the Olympians of the 1948 Games

Jordan Jovtchev, who turns 40 in February, made it to the finals of the men's gymnastic rings competition on Monday. Though he didn't earn a medal, Jovtchev gained notice for competing in an astounding sixth Olympic games. His silvery hair stands out as much as his powerful work on the rings in a sport known for its youthful competitors.

As the world focuses on the competition and pageantry in London this summer, athletes over 30 are putting on one spectacular show. Learn more about the Games' well-seasoned athletes in the gallery above.

They nailed it! Fans pay artistic tribute to Olympics with patriotic nail decor

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