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I suppose Diana Nyad’s feat illustrates the gulf between world-class athletes and the rest of us. And also just the sheer stubbornness it takes to succeed at that level.

As age goes, though, I think it’s hard to top Emma Gatewood’s achievement in 1955 at age 67 to be the first woman to solo hike the Appalachian Trail. As a young backpacker, I had heard tales of the legendary Grandma Gatewood, but only learned about her story a few years ago. This is a pretty good account of her life:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandma_Gatewood

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I think it might also be that i was in Australia too and the news of an American woman over 60 doing an amazing thing just wasn’t newsworthy enough.

I love Emma Gatewood’s story! Thanks for sharing. I read about some adventurous amazing women in the book The Women I Think About at Night: Travelling the Path of My Heroes by Mia Kankimäki. A fabulous book! So many adventurous women from the 19th & early 20th centuries.

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Think-About-Night-Traveling/dp/1982129190

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Let’s not forget scientific achievement.

A relative of mine is always talking about nebulas and has photographed the famous Horsehead Nebula, which was discovered in 1888 by Williamina Fleming. Her story is pretty interesting:

https://scientificwomen.net/women/fleming-williamina-37

Fleming worked as a “computer” in a Harvard lab, meaning someone who studied glass photographic plates of images captured by telescopes, looking for evidence of celestial bodies. If you’ve seen the film Hidden Figures, you’ll recognize that job term, which was often applied to anyone who did computational work in the time before, well, computers:

https://www.nasa.gov/from-hidden-to-modern-figures/

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I certainly do know about Flemming & the amazing human computers. Also the code breakers in the wars. So many amazing women 🙂

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