Looking for the story of 90 year-old Olga Yurechko’s memorial letter? Click here
Update: A video is available of Olga carrying the torch:
From Ukraine House 2010:
91 year-old Ukrainian Canadian, Olga Kotelko, appointed for Olympics 2010 Torch Relay
Olga Kotelko, known as the oldest long jump competitor in the world, was nominated as one of the 12,000 XXI Winter Olympic Games Torch Bearers. She will hold history in her hands, carrying the Olympic flame in the Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay.
Olga will carry the torch on Wednesday, February 10 at 7:45 p.m., on Marine Drive in West Vancouver between 15th and 17th Street.
“I am so very happy and so overwhelmed to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said an emotional Kotelko. “Carrying the Torch represents inspiration, dedication, hope, perseverance and community spirit. To me, this Flame is a shining symbol saluting good health and well being.”
This diminutive and personable former teacher from Burnaby, B.C., Olga is a role model for youngsters, masters and seniors. Since 1997, at the age of 77, Olga Kotelko has been running, jumping and throwing – and breaking Canadian and World records in the W80, W85 and W90 age categories.
Besides having been named BC’s Masters Athlete of the Year, she has also won the Vancouver YWCA’s Women of Distinction in Sports award. In her West Vancouver community, she is sought after as a motivational speaker for seniors, and is well known in her local elementary school where she coaches the shot put. Olga Kotelko is also included in the Canadian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I am enjoying the benefits of doing what I started at the age of 77… track and field” she stated. “As the Chinese expression says: “It is not how old we are, it is how we get old!”
About Ukraine House:
Official home of Ukraine’s Olympic team for the 2010 Winter Olympics is being run jointly by the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine, Embassy of Ukraine in Canada and Ukrainian Canadian Congress. Ukraine House will be officially opened on February 11th, 2010 and will be open to the public from February 12th through to the 28th. Located at the Ukrainian Catholic Centre at 3150 Ash Street in Vancouver, BC.