Australia's oldest athlete passes with her Olympic dream intact
104-year-old Ruth Frith passed away peacefully in February, but she managed to live her dream of visiting Ancient Olympia
Ruth Frith proved it's never too late to take up sport. At 102 years old, she became the world's oldest competing athlete.
The will to keep fit and active never left her, and on her 104th birthday late last year, she celebrated by popping on her exercise bike for a quick cycle.
Sadly on February 28, her sporting journey came to an end, when she passed away peacefully.
Although involved in athletics most of her life as a coach and a judge, she didn't compete until she was 73. She preferred training without the pressure.
She went on to win six gold medals and set six world records at the World Masters Games in Sydney in 2009 at the age of 100.
She then went on to win a gold medal in the hammer throw at the Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in 2010.
Almost as if she took the advice to keep fit in your later years a little too seriously, it was her perseverance and determination that created some of her life's greatest moments at such old age.
One of those was travelling to Greece for the first time and visiting Ancient Olympia in 2010.
"It was like a dream come true," she said about her trip.
"Standing on that ground at Ancient Olympia, I just can't describe how I felt. I felt so insignificant, humble. You just felt, 'well, I am really nothing compared to the ground I'm standing on'."
The realisation of Ruth's dream was made possible by Greek philanthropist Jovanna Fragouli after an anonymous Greek Australian made the nomination through www.postmywish.com
While visiting the ancient site, Ruth was presented with a crown of wild olive branches and a gold wreath by local mayor George Aydonis.
She also met the president of the Greek Olympic committee, Spyros Capralos, Deputy Mayor of Athens Lefteris Skiadas and Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, who attended a dinner in Ruth's honour.
Her longevity, she said, was down to her strict diet, void of any of the vegetables she had avoided since she was young.
She found it hard to find food she liked in Greece, remarking "I don't like things cooked in oil, and your salad was glistening with the oil. I don't eat vegetables and all that jazz, so I found that their food just wasn't for me".
Her character and personality touched residents in Brisbane, where just one week before she died, Brisbane City Council approved the naming of a park after her in the city's south.
Born in 1909, Ruth became an avid fan of athletics watching her father as a timekeeper at school athletics carnivals.
She studied to be a solicitor but gave the profession up when she married civil engineer Ray Frith in 1933.
Ruth became a long jump and throws judge when the family moved to Sydney in 1977 for the Pacific Conference games in Canberra and held many administration roles in the Women's Amateur Athletics Association of NSW.
She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
- Register Now
- AWM apologises for "Macedonia" misnaming
- A self-made Greek amongst Australia's richest
- Sister city celebrations to peak at Fed Square
- Boutaris to address Jewish community
- Greek and Gay/Gals picnic
- Hatzimihail invests $35 million into Aussie supercar
- Anastasiadis calls for better scheduling
- More of the same as Greece loses to visiting Serbia
- Cretan spirit lives on
- Greek police investigating suspected IS gun supply routes
Is the Greek posh-punk billionaire crossing the line?
Further encroachment in Greek waters "predictable" but not welcome says Greek defence minister.
Speaking exclusively to Neos Kosmos, Ange Postecoglou says he's preparing the Socceroos to strive for the silverware in January.
Panathinaikos might stand in the way of PAOK's winning streak.
As their last film of the year, the Brisbane Film Society will be screening the Nikos Koundouros 1956 classic The Ogre of Athens (Ο Δράκος).
Started in 1977 by Peter Politakins, the Greek Cypriot Variety Program celebrates another milestone.
19-year-old artist Achillea Konstandakis handed his drawing of Giannis Ploutarhos to the man himself during his Australian visit.
UPDATE: The Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Giorgos Orfanos has cancelled his trip to Melbourne but Thessaloniki's Mayor Yiannis Boutaris still on his way
Kenyan Felix Kandie managed to complete the marathon 19 seconds quicker than the record, clocking in at 2:10:36.
Organisers received the vegetables from local farmers after they had been rejected by food stores
Sebastian Vettel is proud to follow in the footsteps of hero Michael Schumacher.
Our readers have a split heart when it comes to being granted voting rights in Greece.
A publication of the French newspaper, following the latest seismic activity in Greece, receives thousands of shares worldwide, causing major anxiety
Olympiakos became the real winner after it thrashed Panthrakikos 5-1 to move closer to cutting the distance between PAOK on the league ladder.
More than 35 per cent of the population were close to the poverty line at the end of last year, compared to 28.1 per cent in 2008, before the country’s economic crisis struck
Remembrance Day commemorations were soured when FYROM was announced as 'Macedonia'.
Proposed changes aimed at making the popular strip more pedestrian friendly have Greek Australian traders on Brunswick St alarmed
The Ancient World collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston ranks amongst the finest in the world, with its three galleries devoted to ancient Greece.