101-year-old Alberta woman goes for gold
Florence Storch will compete in Canada 55+ Games
An Alberta woman is going for gold this week at the Canada 55+ Games — and she's been alive for more than a century.
Florence Storch is 101 and will compete in the javelin event in Strathcona County when the games get underway on Wednesday. She says age shouldn't be considered when it comes to competing.
"You're not too old to compete," Storch said. "Age is just a number anyway so I don't have much fussing around about my age."
Storch, a resident of Hanna, Alta., started throwing javelin when she was 85 years old and her hometown hosted the provincial senior games.
"I volunteered. And my job was to record the names of the people who competed in all the events. Nobody for javelin. Put my name down. And I won a medal!"
Storch has gone on to compete all over Canada, along with her 70-year-old son Ed Storch.
"I'm encouraging her to hold one hand on the walker while she throws the javelin because if she falls down and breaks a bone. You know, 101, that's a serious thing. It's life threatening," he said.
Even with limited vision, Florence Storch can still throw the javelin with ease. She practices weekly in the grass yard behind the Hanna Seniors Lodge.
She won a provincial silver at the age of 89 and a national gold at 95.
In the past, a gym teacher from Hanna High School coached her and lent her equipment. Storch's longtime friend, Helen Standing, is not surprised she picked up the sport so quickly. She says it's the way she was raised.
"In those days, everybody had to be athletic because we were all farm people. And everybody had to pitch and help. You didn't sit down and read book. You had cows to milk, chickens to feed. Kids walked to school. And if you were a bit late, then you had to run."
Storch can't run anymore and needs someone to retrieve the javelin for her after she throws it. She has outlived many of her competitors and has no intention of quitting anytime soon.