Olga Kotelko died of an intracranial hemorrhage — a ruptured blood vessel feeding her brain — on Saturday night. The 95-year-old West Vancouver athlete holds 34 age-class world records in track and field, 15 of which she set in the last few months since turning 95.
Kotelko was the subject of a recent book by award-winning author Bruce Grierson, who followed Olga and wrote about what kept her healthy and active long after most others her age.
Her passing was first reported by MastersTrack.com, who Grierson told that Olga “left nothing significant undone or undreamed. Gerontologists talk about ‘squaring the curve’ — i.e., living life ablaze with little or no decline toward the end, and then an abrupt demise. Olga squared the curve with a ruler. It was a real gift to get to know her. She changed my life, for sure.”
Kotelko, born in Ukraine, immigrated to Canada at a young age and was one of 11 children. She was a school teacher for most of her working life.