For most 99-year-olds, entering their 100th year means reflecting on their long existence and enjoying the joys of a quiet life. But not for Edith Murway-Traina. With only days away from her centenary, the senior citizen from the US set a new world record—she was recently declared the oldest competitive powerlifter (female) by the Guinness World Records.

The great-great-grandmother from Tampa, Florida was 98 years and 94 days old during her last competition in 2019. As a result, she earned the title of the world's oldest female competitive powerlifter. However, Murway-Trainamay may break her own record in a few months as she is set to participate in her first post-pandemic competition in November this year.

Her daughter, Honey Cottrell, said, "We knew she probably was one of the oldest but were shocked (and very proud of her) to be told she holds a world record.  Our entire family is honored that our mother is a record holder, and Guinness World Records has given her this honor."

Falling In Love With Powerlifting

Edith Murway-Traina
Edith Murway-TrainaYoutube Screengrab/ @Guinness World Records

Murway-Trainamay was a dancer and a dance teacher for several years at the local recreation center. As a youngster, she idolized legends such as Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple for their dancing prowess. Little did the soon-to-be centenarian know that her passion for dance would bring to her another love of her life—powerlifting.

It is through dance that she made the acquaintance of Carmen Gutworth, who is now a close friend of hers. When she was 91-years-old, Gutworth invited her to join her at the gym. Soon, the nonagenarian took to lifting.

Edith Murway-Traina
Edith Murway-Traina at a competitionYoutube Screengrab/ @Guinness World Records

"While I was watching those ladies doing their thing, I thought I just as well should pick up a few bars, and I did. Going on a regular basis, I found that I was enjoying it, and I was challenging myself to get a little bit better and a little bit better. Before long, I was part of the team," she recounted to Guinness World Records.

A Competitor in No Time

With the support of her trainer Bill Beekely and friend Gutworth, she began amassing trophies in competitions. She started setting the competitive powerlifting circuit on fire by lifting weights of 40-150 pounds effortlessly. "She bent down and picked it up as if it were her purse. She will not quit and anything that's hard, it makes her more determined," noted Gutworth.

Edith Murway-Traina
Edith Murway-Traina at a competitionYoutube Screengrab/ @Guinness World Records

With her elegant lifts and determination, Murway-Trainamay began winning the hearts of judges and spectators alike. "As a performer and a dancer, applause was always a very important part of my enjoyment. As long as I could get a little bit of applause, I was happier each I time I got more and more applause. Once people found out I was in my nineties and I was doing all of these things, it got to be more noticeable. People got to pay attention more," she remarked.

Inspiring People across Age Groups

Through her passion for the sport, Murway-Trainamay has managed to inspire people. So much so, that several individuals across all age groups have begun participating in physical activities because of her. "I think in my nineties, I became more aware of the need for people to be recognized for who they are, or what they are, or how they are and it's the most beautiful thing in the world. I think I survive on that, mostly, myself," she expressed.

Edith Murway-Traina
Edith Murway-Traina with her Guinness World Record certificateYoutube Screengrab/ @Guinness World Records

The record-holding senior citizen admitted that she has fallen short of space in her home to accommodate the numerous trophies she has won over the years. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting her training on hold, Murway-Trainamay is back in the gym and is working towards competing soon. She is looking forward to taking part in a meet set to be held in November.