FINALIST 2014 – City of Vancouver Book Award
Part science book, part journey into the untapped potential of the human spirit, this is the remarkable story of a 94-year-old track and field champion (not retired).
Olga Kotelko is most certainly a genetic outlier, one of those rare, blessed people whose bodies resist the degradations of age. More remarkably, she's not alone; there are men and women all over the world competing at ages at which most of us will be lucky even to be alive. But her secret, and theirs, isn't just the luck of the gene pool. It's in the stories of how they exploit their genetic good fortune where the lessons for the rest of us may be found. Author Bruce Grierson, whose much-read 2010 New York Times Magazine piece first brought attention to Olga's remarkable story, accompanies the nonagenarian Canadian to track meets to see her in action, and to research facilities around North America where he and medical researchers hope to learn the secrets of her thriving tissues and age-resistant DNA. And perhaps most importantly, she welcomes him and us into her world, where we learn that your life might benefit most of all from how you live it.