‘I don’t feel anything like a 71-year-old’: Great-grandma breaks all-time powerlifting world record

Jun 28, 2023
Great-grandma Toni Wolf breaks two powerlifting world records. Source: Instagram @toni.wolfii

Age proved to be no barrier for 71-year-old powerlifter Toni Wolfe as she defied expectations and shattered records at the Global Powerlifting Committee’s (GPC) national competition held on Sunday, June 25.

Despite contemplating whether to participate due to weight considerations, Wolfe’s decision to compete led to an incredible achievement, breaking an all-time world powerlifting record with her 80kg bench press and 145kg deadlift.


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A post shared by Toni Wolfe (@toni.wolfii)

Speaking to ABC,  Head of GPC Australia Markos Markopoulos, said “no woman has ever benched more across any federation in her weight class and age group.”

Following her final lift, as one of the referees inspected her equipment, Wolfe began to worry if she had made a mistake. To her surprise, she was informed that she had broken two GPC world records.

“It was a complete surprise. I was blown away,” Wolfe said, adding she now has her sights on the GPC World Championships in Hungary in October this year.

“I want to be world champion.”

Wolfe’s coach, Max Markopoulos, has no doubt Wolfe has the potential to achieve even greater feats in the sport.

“While this result is very, very impressive, she is actually capable of a lot more. I’m really keen to see how far we can take her,” he said.


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A post shared by FITEK (@fitek_oz)

Wolfe’s journey in weightlifting began 40 years ago when she was a 30-year-old mother of four boys

Looking for something to call her own, she started lifting weights at an “ordinary gym” in Utah, USA. Her passion for getting stronger grew over the years, leading her to explore bodybuilding and CrossFit. However, the thrill of lifting heavy weights always drew her back.

“When I first started lifting weights, I just loved getting stronger and stronger,” she said.

“It never left me, I’ve been training ever since – it’s my total passion.”

Wolfe credits her dedication to weight training as the key to her fitness and health, emphasising the importance of strength at any age.

“Whatever age you are you need to be strong,” she said.

“Start [weight training] as early as you can. You will find your body and your mindset is completely different.

“I don’t feel anything like a 71-year-old.”

Wolfe is not the only older adult making headlines in the sports world. Over the weekend, 80-year-old George Hulse completed the Ironman Oceania race held in Cairns.

Hulse conquered the 226-kilometre course, comprising a 3.9-kilometre swim, a 180-kilometre bike ride, and a marathon-length 42.2-kilometre run, accomplishing the race in 16 hours, 24 minutes, and 39 seconds.

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