Just because you grow up doesn’t mean you have to give up sports. Next weekend the 2009 World Masters Games kick off in Sydney (for those that don’t know, that’s a comp for athletes 40 years of age and older.)
One athlete preparing for the Games is truly in a class by herself. Aussie Ruth Frith trains with weights three days a week and will compete in the hammer, shotput, javelin, discus and weights events. It’s a pretty sure bet she will win gold because she is the only one in her age bracket. She is 100 years old!
Frith is a great grandmother of 11 who remains young at heart because she refuses to let go of her dream. This wonderful article about the Super Granny explains how she came to compete:
Most sports lovers talk of ending their playing days and moving into administration.
For Ruth, it was the other way around.
“I was always involved as an athletics official or referee but I became tired of hearing, ‘leave the bags with Ruth’,” she related.
“I decided I’d get out on the field, not sit in the grandstand.”
She was already 74 when she contested her first World Masters Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico in 1983 and has not looked back.
Prepping for the upcoming Masters, Frith plans to compete in five events. Holder of five athletics world records in the 95-99 years category (let’s be honest, she was the only competitor in her age group), the great-grandmother has participated in the Games for 25 years, exemplifying the age-is-no-barrier ethos that makes the Masters so special.
Frith says she feels like she is in her 60s and inspires anyone who might think they have picked up a bat, a football or a tennis racquet for the last time to reconsider.
This year, the 100-104 age group may be the toughest division for competitive athletes so we’re looking for Ruthie to kick some serious butt. You go, girl.
Be sure to check out this video interview:
UPDATE: All eyes were on Ruth Frith as she arrived for day two of the World Masters Games, hoping to win gold in the shot put and feeling pretty confident as she was the only competitor in the over-100s category.
But her 4.07 metre (13 ft 4.2 in) throw on Sunday didn’t just win her gold, it also broke a world record! You go, girl!