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Golden Inspiration: Tamae Watanabe

By Katie Gilbert

There are several senior aged Guinness Book of World Record winner that we talk about on our Golden Inspirations series. Take oldest Iron Man Triathlon Champion Lew Hollander and oldest Honolulu marathoner Gladys Burrill for example. We love to talk about these people because they show that boundaries can be broken at any age. This week's golden inspiration, Tamae Watanabe joins their ranks in the book of the world records. Except she is known for breaking her ownworld record.

Early Life

Tamae grew up around mountains as a child and just never stopped loving them. When she was younger, she climbed mountain to find food for her family's livestock or to collect wood for their fire at home in the winter. Tamae told CNN, "Because of that, I suppose I became used to climbing mountains."

She became introduced to serious mountaineering when a librarian at a library of Kanagawa Prefecture, where she worked, began to talk about her own experiences climbing summits. She was part of a mountaineering club that Tamae soon joined herself after hearing about all the different routes available on various mountains nearby.

Reaching a Goal at 73

At the age of 73 and 180 days, Tamae reached the top of Mt. Everest's 29,035-foot-high top from the northern side of the mountain with four other team members. The last time she broke the world record for oldest woman to reach the Top of Mt. Everest, she was 63.

However, climbing a major peak such as Mt. Everest is not just something someone gets used to doing. For Tamae, she had to work up to the accomplishment. Yet, the climbing never became work for her.

As she told CNN, "I was just enjoying climbing." Tamae truly shows that no matter how high a task, it is possible to achieve a goal no matter what your age.

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