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
- From love story to Arabian nightmare
- Tragedy strikes Farlecas family
- Property tax headaches
- Police on the search for Jason Zervoudakis
- Xenophon warns on Iraq
- A piece of sweet history
- Armenia praises Greece for law banning denial of genocide
- Cyprus after the discovery of gas
- 16 years jail for Oakleigh crash killer
- Iconic Greek cafe destroyed
In the world which is splitting once again into two opposing camps, Cyprus has suddenly found itself in a rather awkward position.
Offshore blocks have been reserved for three months.
Could holding your breath stop anxiety attacks?
The Socceroos coach has praised the work of brand new Socceroos and says he knows what to do to keep moving forward.
The fifth review of Greece's economic reform progress will look at the draft budget.
Minister vows to continue the process after court ruling.
The life-sized marble statues flank the entrance to one of the tomb’s underground chambers.
Jim and Neda Mangioros have given up their lifestyle and career to help troubled Melbourne youth and needy adults, through their Endless Horizons Kids
Youth and Outreach Centre.
Measured against incomes and rents, Australian house prices are among the world's most expensive.
Ilias Stavrou's decision to quit GD was met with a “psychological war” from GD officials.
Southern Stars player Nicholas McKoy convicted and fined for passive role in match-fixing scam.
The project cost upwards of $880,000 and help the IB program.
Achieving a primary surplus and climbing the global competitiveness index has Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hopeful that Greece is back on track.
Centre for Dialogue at La Trobe Univeristy hosts inaugural Australian Egypt Dialogue.
How a former builder and carpenter became one of the first organic farmers in Greece.
Thessaloniki's mayor has been chosen among 26 other great mayors for the World Mayor Prize 2014.
The Western Sydney Wanderers held off FC Seoul to keep an upper hand in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup.
South Melbourne hoisted the inaugural NPLV trophy high on Sunday, but knows its job isn't done yet