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
- Gyros revolution of Sydney
- 'Australian influence all over me' says Varoufakis
- Speak Greek in March garners more support
- The Fat Duck's Greek manager
- Inflexible wills leaving older Greeks at odds
- Greece's lenders skeptical on new bills
- PM denies Greece will seek third bailout
- Festival Hellenika launches in South Australia
- Kyrgios out of Australia's Davis Cup clash
- Panathinaikos deducted three points
- Five-year-old thrown out of church by priest
- Pan-Lemnian Organisations gather in Melbourne
- Vic police need your help to find missing man
- Never on Sunday - always on Saturday
- Tsipras has sights set on Australia
- Grandfather puts up unexpected fight
- Bobolas hoarding house up for land value sale in Bondi
- Four in 10 new pensioners aged under 62
- Greece assesses the damage
- Three Greek athletes earn tickets to Prague
Vicky Kanellopoulos has designed a contemporary ANZAC brooch to remember the fallen.
OFI fans hurled a Molotov cocktail onto the pitch after the final whistle during the Panathinaikos match.
Media tycoon tweets on Greece's eurozone credentials.
Protypo Greek Centre's Dr Maria Gindidis says the benefits of immersing your child in a bilingual environment as early as possible are staggering.
George Dialegmenou's play focuses on the sometimes strange dynamic between mother and child.
“Despite steps forward... problems persist, including worrying levels of xenophobia and violence," says the Council of Europe's commission against racism and intolerance.
Is it too expensive? Is it worth it? Angela Costanzo answers the most asked questions about the Fat Duck dinning experience.
Canberra's place to be to meet bachelors and bachelorettes.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos experience as a senior political adviser may help revive the government's standing in politics and policy.
The two day weekend festival saw thousands come to eat, dance and show their solidarity to Greece.
Federation makes changes to FFA Cup to benefit semi-professional and grassroots clubs.
The business breakfast is back again, and will discuss the topic 'Building Your Career Brand: How to Stand Out'
The 'I Love All Things Greek' directory aims to put all Greek Australian business and community groups in Melbourne in once place.
Giorgos Papaconstantinou has denied all charges and claims he is being made a scapegoat for the inaction of others.
Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak has been handed a four match ban after the player elbowed West Ham United's Diafra Sakho.
Greece and euro-area members have been at odds over the formula needed to extend the country’s bailout.
Australian Formula One driver, Daniel Ricciardo, nabs top spot in 'Star in a Reasonably Priced Car' challenge.
Former conservative Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos has been named as the government's presidential candidate.