Watch above: At 101 years old, Florence Storch is competing in the Canada 55+ Games against women nearly half her age. Fletcher Kent has her inspirational story.
EDMONTON – It’s proof that age is just a number. Florence Storch, who is 101 years old, has claimed a silver medal in javelin at the Canada 55+ Games.
“I’m quite excited. I’ve got family around me – grandchildren and great grandchildren,” Storch said prior to her event.
Four generations of Storchs surrounded the Hanna, Alberta woman as she competed in the games Thursday afternoon in Sherwood Park.
The 101-year-old is the oldest athlete in this year’s games. In the 85+ javelin category, Storch was up against a woman more than a decade her junior: 87-year-old Doreen Erskine of Moose Jaw.
“Quite often I don’t have too much competition, but I’m sure I’ve got competition today,” said Erskine. “I think it’ll be pretty tough because I think she can really throw the javelin.”
Storch, who grew up with three brothers, says athletics have long been a passion of hers, although she didn’t take up the javelin until she was in her 80s.
“I’ve been with it ever since, but I had to take training,” she explained.
“I have genes that have been responsible for longevity and I put it down to my genes and practicing.”
Her drive to stay active as she gets older inspires many, including her family who came from all across the province to cheer her on.
“She was always active, she used to take us on nature walks. She was riding a horse at my place when she was, I believe it was 85, so she’s certainly kept active,” said Storch’s son Ed Storch.
“It’s extremely inspiring. Some of her grandkids kind of snuck out of school, people took days off jobs to be here, great support.”
Margaret Marciak, chair of the Canada 55+ Games, says Storch’s drive and passion are exactly what the games are all about.
“It gives us the thought that we can all do this and there’s nothing holding us back.”
“Our motto is ‘happiness is health.’ And when you think of health you think of mental, physical, emotional well being and these games truly, truly embody all of that,” Marciak added.
At the end of the event, Storch came in second, throwing the javelin just over three metres.
“It felt good,” she said, “really, really good, especially since I had family here to watch me.”
And at 101 years old, Storch says she’ll continue to throw the javelin as long as she can.
“When people say they’re too old to do this and that, I demonstrate the fact that you’re not too old – even when you’re 101, coming 102.”
There are 17 athletes over the age of 90 competing in this year’s games, and 60 in the 85 to 90 age group. For more information on the games, visit the Canada 55+ Games website.
With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.
© Shaw Media, 2014