What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery Of The 90-something Track Star, And What She Can Teach Us About…

Hardcover | January 14, 2014

byBruce Grierson

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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.

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From the Publisher

FINALIST 2014 – City of Vancouver Book AwardPart 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 ...

BRUCE GRIERSON is a five-time Canadian National Magazine Award-winning feature writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Popular Science, the Walrus, Time, Scientific American and the Guardian. He is the author of U-Turn, and co-author (with Kalle Lasn) of Culture Jam. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two da...

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Kobo ebook|Dec 1 2008

$12.09 online$15.71list price(save 23%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9.27 × 6.29 × 0.98 inPublished:January 14, 2014Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307363457

ISBN - 13:9780307363459

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Editorial Reviews

“I am nuts about this book and about Olga. But the real kick was accompanying Bruce Grierson—a very good writer—as he took a smart, deep look into the new science of aging— and not aging—at the high end. I know this field a bit, and I still learned important new stuff…all of it great news. Hint: work out like a lunatic ’til the day you die. And jiggle your feet the rest of the time. Olga ‘redefined’ Grierson’s life; she may redefine yours.” —Chris Crowley, co-author (with Henry S. Lodge, M.D.) of the bestselling Younger Next Year books and co-author (with Jen Sacheck, Ph.D.) of Thinner This Year “What Makes Olga Run? is a smart, funny and provocative modern-day quest for the fountain of youth, led by a curious (and envious) middle-aged man determined to find the source of a 93-year-old track star’s astonishing vigour. Bruce Grierson sails deep into the heart of what science has to offer on the hot subject of longevity, and finds lessons for us all in the record-breaking footsteps of Olga Kotelko. This is a fascinating adventure, rich with puzzles and people who will make you laugh out loud, and profound insights for anyone interested in the shelf life of humanity.” —Carolyn Abraham, Governor General’s Literary Award–nominated author of The Juggler’s Children and Einstein’s Brain  “In Olga, Grierson has a magical character with whom to explore the fascinating science of aging—a nonagenerian undecathlete. (That is, a 90-something who excels in eleven different events.) We are left with the empowering knowledge that, to a startling degree, aging itself is a choice.” —David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance  “Smart and engaging, What Makes Olga Run? is also profoundly inspiring. It will make you wish you were half as fit and exuberant as Olga, whatever your age, while providing a fascinating look at the latest science on aging.” —Gretchen Reynolds, author of The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer