Olga Kotelko holds 26 world records, including age-group bests in the high jump, the hammer throw, and the 200-meter run. She was 77 when she took up competitive track and field.
About Olga: Track and field champion at 95
So how does Olga do it?
Does she come from an exceptionally long-lived family? Nope. She does not.
Does she follow an especially healthy diet? You decide. Her staples include plenty of red meat, sauerkraut, cottage cheese, sour milk, and a heck of a lot of tapioca pudding. Plus nuts.
So, how about the state of her telomeres—those chromosome caps that shorten with age. Are they extra long? Not at all. They're just average in length.
Maybe it's the exercise itself? Certainly that's an important part of it. But it's probably not the biggest part. At least not to author Bruce Grierson who just published a book about her called: What Makes Olga Run?
Grierson thinks the main thing is that Olga is having a great time living her life. She knows how to laugh at herself and how to enjoy the moment. When she exercises she goes out and has fun. And she's not only interested in what she's currently doing. She's still, in her mid-90s, asking herself, "Where are my opportunities to grow?"
Grierson met Ms Kotelko in 2010, and became fascinated by the fact that Olga seemed to be aging much slower and better than he was. He decided to write his book about her so that they could "explore the mystery of her, together." The result is a short, lively book covering gerontology, exercise, physiology, and genetics.
At the end of Grierson's book he summarizes Olga's recipe for living a longer, more healthful life: Keep active. Pick only activities you enjoy doing. Start now.