Olga Kotelko is a 95 year-old masters athlete who now holds more than 30 world records in track and field. She continues to defy conventional wisdom about aging. Her goal is to live to see 125 years of age. Physicians and scientists credit her long healthy life to healthy habits, vigorous daily exercise, positive attitude, and a passion for living.
Olga found track and field at the age of 77 after playing slow pitch softball since the budding age of 70. Her late entry into the sport may be a blessing. Her body is relatively fresh as compared to an athlete who is competing after suffering decades of wear and tear already. Contrary to traditional thinking, many seniors have the capacity for strenuous exercise (sweating is good). Daily exercise is a force multiplier in terms of staying physically young.
Bruce Grierson knows that Olga is special. His new book, What Makes Olga Run? is part biography, part self-improvement, and part research paper on the science of anti-aging. Grierson’s narrative keeps the reader’s interested in their own welfare as he reveals clues to Olga’s success. This was a hard book to put down.
Olga has outlived all ten of her siblings and one of her two children. She’s 95 now, and claims she feels more like 50. Could it be genetics? Diet? Sleep? Exercise? Faith? Friends? Yes to all. Each of those areas have a huge impact on overall health and well-being. But, attitude trumps them all.
Olga set an unbelievable 26 world track and field records by the time she was 94. But, rather than take it easy and revel in her glory, she was motivated by the chance to chase a whole new set of records once she turned 95. Game on!
The masters track meets are a place for seniors to not only compete against each other, but also to make meaningful friendships. Olga and her fellow athletes know that they are not alone, their efforts are recorded and appreciated, and the next meet is already scheduled.