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Olga Kotelko – Saskatchewan’s Own Inspiration

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kotelko_2010[1]Today’s inspiration was a legendary Canadian  – holder of more than 30 world records and 750 golden medals in athletics.  Events she competed in include long jump, triple jump, high jump, shot put, discus, javelin, weight throw and the 100-metres, 200-metres and 400-metres and 4 x 100-metre relay sprints.  At 91, she carried the Olympic torch in Vancouver in 2010 before the XXI Winter Olympic Games.

Olga graduated in 1941 from the Saskatoon Normal School, now a part of the Faculty of Education at the U of S, and began her career as a teacher in a one-room school in Vonda.  She didn’t begin her athletic career until after she retired.

Olga’s physical prowess wasn’t the most extraordinary thing about her. She was the subject of a book on longevity and scientific study at several Canadian and American Universities.  They discovered that her brain, rather than shrinking as is common in people over 65, continued to developed further.  That was credited to her continual training which kept her mind active and her body healthy.  Her edge was not in what she was born with, but what she did.

 

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