Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bruce Grierson's "What Makes Olga Run?," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives by Bruce Grierson.

The entry begins:
Coming soon to your local multiplex, What Makes Olga Run?, the movie. It’s the story of an uptight city guy’s slow absorption of the paleo lifestyle – primitive food, polyphasic sleeping and intense barefoot workouts with boulders — which he views as the secret of recovering his lost youth. His mentor on this journey, the Burgess Meredith to his Rocky, is a 90-something track athlete with Old Country grit and a Zen-like intelligence: Olga Kotelko.

There’s surely an Oscar waiting for the actress who can pull off the role of Olga. The part demands a pretty serious level of physicality. The real Olga Kotelko notched more than fifty world records in three age categories — most recently women aged 95-99. She was a sprinter and a high jumper. It’s hard to imagine, say, Betty White, putting that kind of spring into even her walking step.

But here’s the thing: In every physiological test done on her by specialists across North America, the real Olga scored at least 30 years younger than her chronological age. And in physical appearance she was at least 25 years younger. So we’re not looking for a 90-year-old actress here. We’re looking for a 65- to 70-year-old actress. That opens up the field to all those late-Boomer Oscar-winners who must be dying for another chance to carry a film: Goldie Hawn, Glenn Close, Sigourney Weaver, Cher. (!). (Okay, the last two are probably out, since Olga was five-foot-zero and 125 pounds.)

For pure athleticism, a casting director’s thoughts might drift to Jane...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Bruce Grierson's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 99 Test: What Makes Olga Run?.

My Book, The Movie: What Makes Olga Run?.

--Marshal Zeringue