Aussie centenarian Ruth Frith realized the dream of a lifetime in January this year when she traveled to Ancient Olympia in Greece for the first time.
“It was like a dream come true,” she said.
“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’.”
A veteran of nine World Masters Games, Mrs Frith has set world records for her age class in the weight pentathlon, triple jump, weight throw, long jump, discus, hammer throw and javelin.
Most recently she set a world record in the 100-104 years of age classification in the shot put at last year’s Sydney games, with a throw of 4.07 metres, taking out the gold medal.
The complete lack of competition was no downer either, but more of a testament to her incredible longevity.
“I just love athletics and I do it because I love it, not for any other reason. It doesn’t really matter to me whether I lose or I win,” she said.
The realization of Mrs Frith’s dream was made possible by Greek philanthropist Jovanna Fragouli after an anonymous Greek-Australian made the nomination through www.postmywish.com
While in Greece Mrs Frith attended several events in her honour including a dinner attended by Spyros Capralos, President of the Greek Olympic Committee, George Aydonis, Mayor of Ancient Olympia, Lefteris Skiadas, Deputy Mayor of Athens and Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis.
At Ancient Olympia Mrs Frith was presented with a crown of wild olive branches and a gold wreath by Mayor George Aydonis.
She also met with students from local schools and sporting academies, who despite their ancient surroundings, found themselves in awe of her.
“I was like a relic from the past,” she said.
And she credits her incredible longevity and ongoing fitness to a strict diet that she simply could not maintain in Greece.
“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,” she said.
Ruth Frith’s next goal is to continue her winning streak at the Australian Masters Athletics Championships in Perth this coming April. Mrs Frith was accompanied to Greece by her daughter Helen Searle, who represented Australia at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games.