Getty Images

Age 15: "You are watching the future of the U.S. Olympics team right here. So young. So much heart. Such a long career ahead of her. Endless promise."

Age 19: "This athlete is at her peak, but if she doesn't get it done this year, she may look back and regret it forever. At 19, she's mature, seasoned, and—alas—on the peak of losing it all, and slipping into senility."

Advertisement

Age 23: "At 23 years old, this athlete carries the hoary wisdom of experience. What stories those old bones must contain! No doubt she is regaling her teammates with colorful tales of Olympics past, and wishing final farewells to teammates and coaches as she prepares for the winter of her life."

Age 28: "Here's an amazing fact: This athlete was born in the 1980s. The 80s! Even as her bones turn to dust, this wily veteran holds the advantage of experience, and, at her age, being in tune with the primeval rhythms of the universe. Her glory days are long behind her; all she possesses now is hazy nostalgia for a distant past. Really, it's impressive this 28-year-old is competing in the Olympics at all, much less maneuvering about without the aid of wheelchair or walking stick."

Age 31: "Most people are long dead by the time they turn 31, but not this Olympian. She has defied time, science, and everything we know about geriatric care. In the stands, you can see her husband with two young ones—they must either be great-grandkids, or local neighborhood children who are fascinated by this kindly old woman's eccentricities. It will be a pleasure to watch this grizzled elder perform, if only as proof that, with the right lifestyle, you too can still contribute to society at 31."

Advertisement

Age 35: "Folks: Sit back, relax, and savor this moment, as a real-life 35-year old (have you ever seen one before???) competes in what must be her 9th or 10th Olympic Games. Look at her body: weather-beaten, wrinkled, dilapidated like a ramshackle cabin. This ancient Earth Mother should truly inspire us: Even at the advanced age of 35—her memory failing, her organs disintegrating, her every breath a tiny rebuke to God—she still competes. Zounds! What a miracle of modern science!"

Age 38: "From the primordial sludge of the Mesozoic Era arrives this timeworn warrior. Look upon her and feel the sub-anatomic connection to our eldest ancestors. Truly, she represents an epoch that Time and God forgot, when scaly beasts roamed the marshes, and mountains manifested from the flatlands of Pangaea. Let us observe this prehistoric wonder, and see how she fares in the 200 Meters."