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Olga Kotelko dies at 95; book fame followed years of world records

This hurts to write. Olga Kotelko is dead. I got the tragic news from her Canadian author friend Bruce Grierson on Tuesday afternoon: “A major blood vessel feeding Olga’s brain ruptured on Saturday night. Blood bled into brain tissue and caused severe swelling — technically it was an intracranial hemorrhage. She died this morning. Doctors […]

June 24, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  24 Comments

Olga Kotelko went bonkers in Budapest (nine W95 world records)

In the 2010 movie “Herbstgold,” Italy’s Gabre Gabric is shown being peeved at Lahti worlds. She got beat in the W90 discus by Canada’s Olga Kotelko. But Olga stole the scene by comforting her rival and reminding her that, at 94, Gabre gave away a few years. Gabre got her revenge this week. In 10 […]

March 31, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  7 Comments

Olga Kotelko story (and two other Ken Stone samples) need views

Sorry for the fire drill. If you have a moment, please check out three stories I wrote for TravelersToday.com. I submitted them Thursday, and they amount to a tryout for this national news site. The more pageviews, the better my chances. Please share these links on Twitter and Facebook, and Pinterest and other social media. […]

January 31, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

Olga Kotelko gets her 5 minutes of fame: Star turn on ‘Today’

NBC’s “Today” show aired its Olga Kotelko segment Friday morning — with great clips of her throwing the hammer, sharing her food faves (sauerkraut and pickled herring) and working out with host Natalie Morales. Bruce Grierson, author of “What Makes Olga Run?” is briefly interviewed. Olga tells Natalie her goal is to live to 120. […]

January 20, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  7 Comments

Flo Meiler becomes oldest steepler, ups WR in the W80 vault

Hall of Famer Flo Meiler of Vermont is a multi-event legend. But like Olga Kotelko, Flo is just coming into her prime — as an 80-year-old. On June 21, two weeks after entering her new age group, Flo became the oldest female steepler on record — and upped the WR in the vault several times […]

July 8, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  6 Comments

Book ‘em, Olga! Parade article says Kotelko study is out soon

Bruce Grierson, an exceptional writer based in Vancouver, first contacted me about Canadian masters legend Olga Kotelko in 2010. The resultant New York Times Magazine piece was titled “The Incredible Flying Nonagenarian.” But Bruce didn’t stop there. He began research for a book on Olga (and interviewed me again this past April). Now the world […]

December 29, 2013   Posted in: Uncategorized  6 Comments

Kamloops sees Kotelko add 6 notches to her world record belt

They held a little meet in Kamloops over the weekend. A little lady named Olga Kotelko showed up. The result? BOOM! SIX more world records. I don’t know if the Canadian records czar will ratify marks set at the two-day Centennial meet at Hillside Stadium. But it shows our 95-year-old friend hasn’t let fame go […]

May 22, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

Olga Kotelko to star at Kamloops nationals — and in BBC profile

W90 superstar Olga Kotelko is competing this weekend at Canadian masters indoor nationals at Kamloops — site of last year’s indoor worlds. According to the local paper, Olga “is scheduled to compete in the 60, 200, 400, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put and weight throw.” Whew! And she just turned 92. But […]

March 16, 2011   Posted in: Uncategorized  4 Comments

WMA counts 53 world records at Budapest; Olga shortchanged

World Masters Athletics has posted a list of 53 world records (indoor and out) set at Budapest last week. Many were news to me. But Olga Kotelko, who turned 95 just before worlds, didn’t get credit for one record — the high jump. She answered an email query (as part of research I’m doing for […]

April 10, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  4 Comments

NY Times tells Olga Kotelko’s secret: No decay in muscle chemistry

Olga Kotelko, the W90 phenom, is profiled in a stunningly well-researched article in the current New York Times Magazine. See it here. Near the end of Bruce Grierson’s report, we learn why Olga is able to set world records on a whim: “In October, the first of Kotelko’s muscle samples came back from the lab. […]

November 25, 2010   Posted in: Uncategorized  10 Comments

Olga Kotelko video is on BBC: ‘I am what I am,’ W90 superstar says

What’s the most popular video subject on the BBC America website today? Japan? Libya? One-minute world news? Wrong on all counts. It’s Olga Kotelko, our W90 world-record superstar from British Columbia. She tells her story to freelancer Brandy Yanchyk. Olga is shown doing water training, weights and other stuff. Some of my photos from Lahti […]

March 29, 2011   Posted in: Uncategorized  5 Comments

Olga Kotelko lights fires under others with her spirit, example

If you’re not an inspiration already (for doing track and field at your age), you can expect to be at age 90. Sure happened for Olga Kotelko. Of course, it helps when you’re setting a gazillion world records. Olga of West Vancouver, British Columbia, also has an athlete’s character and spirit. Her local paper named […]

May 16, 2010   Posted in: Uncategorized  4 Comments

Aussie Lavinia Petrie breaks own W70 world records in 5K, 10K

Back to Tasmania. Aussie masters nationals ended Sunday, and here’s the scoop. The Athlete of the Meet appears to have been W70 distance phenom Lavinia Petrie. News outlets are reporting that she lowered her own world records for 5K and 10K on consecutive days. One site said she shaved 45 seconds off her own 10K record, […]

March 13, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

W90 superstar Olga Kotelko continues her world record romp

Olga Kotelko just kills me. She claims at least 15 world records in the run-up to Lahti, sets eight WRs there, and then what?  She goes and sets some more a couple weekends ago at the British Columbia Senior Games in Richmond. Her most notable WR at Minoru Park was in the 400-meter dash. She […]

September 24, 2009   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

Olga Kotelko and Jerry Smartt nicely profiled in home press

Jerry Smartt ran some M75 distance races at Lahti worlds, and though he didn’t bring home a medal, his visit was golden. It was a homecoming of sorts. In a great profile published today in the Columbia Missourian, he tells Sarah Nail: “I learned how to run when I first went to Finland in 1956. I […]

September 7, 2009   Posted in: Uncategorized  2 Comments

Christa Bortignon could be next great masters vaulter — at 77

Toronto’s Globe and Mail, the No. 2 paper in Canada, turned its attention this week to that other track star from Vancouver. Not Olga Kotelko but her W75 pal Christa “IAAF World Best” Bortignon, setter of 14 world records and a birthday girl Wednesday. We learn, among other things, that Christa wants to be a […]

January 31, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  No Comments

Ahmad Shabazz gets day in the sun: M65 sprinter is profiled

IAAF World Best Charles Allie smoked the track last July in Berea, Ohio, at the National Senior Games. Far behind in the M65 100 was Ahmad Faheem Shabazz, a former star and coach of the U.S. Army Rangers indoor and outdoor track teams. Ahmad ran 15.05, almost 3 seconds behind Charles. But he still deserved […]

January 8, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  One Comment

O Boy! Vancouver hosting regional masters games in August 2014

Jimson Lee, our Canadian masters sprinter friend, is reporting that Vancouver, British Columbia, will host a regional masters games in 2014. Similar to the European Masters Games, it’s under the umbrella of the International Masters Games Association, whose Turin meet this summer will be followed by one in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2017. The Vancouver […]

September 29, 2013   Posted in: Uncategorized  5 Comments

One-lap wonders: WRs to Del Grande, Mazzenga and Kotelko

I’ve lost count of the world records at Budapest worlds, with Canada’s Olga Kotelko and Karla Del Grande and Italy’s Emma Mazzenga setting new standards in the 200s Friday. (An earlier posting incorrectly said Guido Müller set a WR, too. Oops, my bad. Bob Lida’s record of 27.64 is still best.) But I can’t overlook […]

March 29, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  10 Comments

Deadline extended for Budapest worlds; entry lists are posted

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, you can always count on deadlines being pushed back for major international masters meets. The latest is Budapest. Despite a USATF statement that “the entry deadline is February 3, 2014 (no exceptions),” the LOC says: The deadline to enter for the 6th World Masters Athletics Championships indoors, to be […]

January 27, 2014   Posted in: Uncategorized  9 Comments