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
- Breaking the circle of the Greek tragedy
- Did Varoufakis have approval to plan parallel banking system?
- Leaving the force with pride
- Suffering for Cyprus
- Minister Kougiales upbeat on talks
- Lefkada: the jewel of the Ionian
- Untying the Cyprus knot
- TSC defies court etiquette over Uber
- Return to austerity
- Heritage campaigner set to revamp Greek club
- Johnny Depp buys a Greek island
- Media fuelling Greek turmoil
- The problem of Greece is not only a tragedy. It is a lie.
- Looming pension changes for Greek Australians
- Obama backs Greece
- Melbourne stands with Greece
- Australia stands with Greece
- Cyprus backs Tsipras on debt deal
- Europe just wants to punish Greece
- Solidarity for Cyprus
Vangelis Moras' brother lost the fight against leukaemia.
Kristy Louvros' happily ever after wedding story disappoints The Age.
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis both suffered losses during last week's Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan
Forty-one years on, PASEKA remembers the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
The euro is to Greece what the US dollar is to remote territories in the Pacific, whose poverty and servility is guaranteed by their dependency.
Evy Yannas talks to Neos Kosmos about the success of the solidarity rally for Greece.
It's time to celebrate our hybrid language.
Despite dropping the second set in 24 minutes, Kyrgios showed grit to take the third and hold two set points in the fourth-set tiebreaker.
Diamond Rozakeas uses art to paint a different picture of this iconic Indigenous community.
At just 25, artist Troy Argyros pursued his dreams with his entry for the acclaimed Archibald Prize.
You should definitely give this luiza fruit gelée recipe a go!
Tickets are now available to the general public.
Yannis Smaragdis announces filming will begin in 2016.
Boomer hits 400, a top four clash and Richmond taking on Fremantle all highlight this round
A new book tells of the brave exploits of an Allied WW2 soldier from his own perspective.
An RMIT exhibition which weaves together the work of artists who identify with displacement, migration and the diaspora.
Wired exchanges from Australia to Greece through any Delphi Bank branch free until 30 September
The role of Australia's nurses recognised.