Wednesday, May 23 , 2018, 4:58 pm | Overcast 64º


She Said, Z Said: Nonagenarian a Jock of Ages

Far from retiring, Olga Kotelko races to a record among athletes' feats

Z: I want to party with Olga Kotelko.

She: Who’s that? Some supermodel?

Z: No. She’s one of the best athletes in the world.

She: Then how come I haven’t heard of her? Is she one of those 12-year-old Soviet gymnasts with the body of a 10-year-old?

Z: Close. She’s a 91-year-old track and field athlete. According to an article in The New York Times, she holds 23 world records, and has more than 600 gold medals.

She: And she’s 91. Impressive. But I doubt that’s who you want to party with. You know there are no keggers when you’re in training

Z: But I’m betting she’d have the stamina to party all the way through the early bird special.

She: What’s her event? The 100-meter walker run?

Z: Her time for the 100-meter dash is 23.95 seconds.

She: I could do that. I think. Definitely if I had to pee really badly and I was racing you to the bathroom.

Z: But Olga Kotelko competes at everything. She throws the javelin, the shot put and the hammer; she runs the 100, 200 and 400; and she does the long jump and the high jump.

She: The high jump?

Z: She holds the world record at 2.7 feet.

She: That’s not that high. That’s like getting into my bath.

Z: She’s 91 and she’s throwing herself over a bar onto a foam mat.

She: She’s just showing off.

Z: In master’s athletics, they use “age-graded” tables to try to compare athletes across different age groups. A score of 100 percent would theoretically be a world record. She gets over 100 percent in a number of events.

She: Well if you love her so much, why don’t you marry her?

Z: Why the antipathy for the nonagenarian athlete?

She: She’s raising the bar for the rest of us. If she trains hard for months at a time and competes at a world-class level, what does that say about me when I can’t make it to the gym more than once a weekish?

Z: She didn’t start competing until she was 77.

She: Seriously? She lived it up till she was 77? Now I love her. I want to party with Olga Kotelko, too.

Z: Who wouldn’t?

She: And the bar’s not that high. In fact, I think I’m going to have to one-up her. I’m going to start training hard when I’m only 76.

Z: Way to commit.

She: Why kill myself now?

Z: Of course, the rest of the article was about how physical exercise can help extend your life. And not just any exercise, but serious, make it burn, exhausting exercise.

She: You mean reading People Magazine on the treadmill won’t cut it?

Z: Not if you want to live long enough to become an elite athlete.

She: Now I hate that Olga Kotelko again. She makes the rest of us look bad.

Z: I find her inspiring. I’ve finally got a retirement plan.

She: To win medals in your 90s?

Z: Exactly. And don’t forget you’re two grades older than me so you’ll be 90 long before I am.

She: Yeah, yeah, get off my back. I’ll get the Wii Fit out of the box.

Z: Yes, dear.

— Share your senior training programs with She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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