“Age is nothing but a number” is one of those eye-rolling platitudes that has lost most of its meaning by now. But then someone like 86-year-old Toshisuke Kanazawa shows up and proves there’s some validity to the well-worn expression.
Kanazawa is an octogenarian from Hiroshima, Japan, who is also a competitive bodybuilder. And on October 9, 2022, he took the stage to show his ageless physique at the 68th Japan Bodybuilding Championships for the Japan Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation (JBBF) in Osaka. Take a look at some pictures from the show below:
Toshisuke Kanazawa’s Record-Breaking Performance
According to The Mainichi, a Japanese news outlet, Kanazawa’s appearance at the show broke his own record from last year for the oldest bodybuilder to ever compete at the Japan Championships. And while he didn’t make it to the finals against the far-younger field, he knows his career is about more than trophies at this point.
“I’m grateful for just being able to participate,” Kanazawa said, according to The Mainichi. “I hope I can reach the hearts of others when they see me take on a challenge even in old age.”
Kanazawa won the Japan Championships previously at the ages of 24 and 27 before briefly retiring from bodybuilding at 34. He returned to the stage around the time he turned 50 and now regularly brings his taut, sinewy physique to Japan Masters shows for athletes 40 and older. Though, as he proved this time, he still likes to compete at shows like the Japan Championships, which feature competitors in their prime.
The Mainichi writes that Kanazawa earned a total of 15 championships during his career, which began at 20. Of those wins, 13 came at Masters competitions.
In August 2022, Kanazawa took second place at the Japan Masters Championships, saying afterward, “I’m still not anywhere near the finish line. It’s important to keep setting goals and taking on challenges no matter how old you are.”
Not Slowing Down
Competing at a bodybuilding show at 86 is impressive enough, but Kanazawa still has another date reserved on his 2022 dance card. In November, he will travel to Spain to compete in the IFBB Masters World Championships. And there are no plans to retire after that, either.
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“I want to compete until I’m 90,” Kanazawa said. “And I’d like to set myself as an example to other grandpas and grandmas in the world by living healthy until 100.”
Featured Image: @toshisuke.kanazawa on Instagram