Ben Lowry: How good it is to see older winners such as Federer

Roger Federer after beating Marin Cilic to become at 35 the oldest winner of the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Final in the open era. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Roger Federer after beating Marin Cilic to become at 35 the oldest winner of the Wimbledon Gentlemen's Singles Final in the open era. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

There are many milestones in life and one of the more gloomy ones is reaching the point when you realise that you are older than even the oldest sports stars.

It becomes impossible to ignore the fact that you are far past your physical peak.

The pack rides next to Serre Poncon lake during the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 179.5 kilometers (111.5 miles) on Thursday, July 20, 2017. It is one of those sporting events in which the oldest ever winner is aged 36. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The pack rides next to Serre Poncon lake during the eighteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 179.5 kilometers (111.5 miles) on Thursday, July 20, 2017. It is one of those sporting events in which the oldest ever winner is aged 36. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

I remember, when I was younger, making the effort to find out the ages of the oldest people to have won various trophies from the Tour de France to Wimbledon to key Olympic medals.

It was typically an age such as 34 years and eight months or 35 years and four months. In one or two events the oldest ever victor had reached the age of 36.

I was sad therefore to pass those ages even though I had little aptitude for, or sometimes even interest in, those particular sports.

That was not the point – the point was that even if I had been the best at the world in those particular skills I would still have been too old.

Darren Clarke with the Claret jug. He was aged 42 when he won the Open.
�Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Darren Clarke with the Claret jug. He was aged 42 when he won the Open. �Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

And then as further years pass sports stars seem to get younger and younger.

It was a joy therefore to see Roger Federer not only win one of the most physically demanding sports championships of all, the Wimbledon Men’s Singles, but to do so effortlessly – and just shy of 36.

Will he continue to break records and perhaps pick up a major title at the age of 40?

Some commentators think that human beings are adjusting to a future in which living to 100 becomes the norm, and they are talking about how we will adjust to that.

At the other end of the age spectrum to these ageing athletes, the author's nephew, infant Rory Schofield reaches out to touch the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale golf club with his parents Mark and Claire (sister of the author)

At the other end of the age spectrum to these ageing athletes, the author's nephew, infant Rory Schofield reaches out to touch the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale golf club with his parents Mark and Claire (sister of the author)

One trend is already apparent – people becoming parents in their late 30s instead of their early 20s.

Another is older sports stars, such as our own Darren Clarke winning the Open golf championship at 42.

Talking of the Open, I just received this snapshot, above, of my nephew Rory at Royal Birkdale.

He is at the other end of the age spectrum to these mature winners, and seemingly can’t wait to get his hands on the Claret Jug.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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