• 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
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (77 ratings)

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What Makes Olga Run?  By  cover art

What Makes Olga Run?

By: Bruce Grierson
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
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Publisher's Summary

In What Makes Olga Run? Bruce Grierson explores what the wild success of a 94-year-old track star can tell us about how our bodies and minds age. Olga Kotelko is not your average 94-year-old. She not only looks and acts like a much younger woman, she holds over 23 world records in track and field, 17 in her current 90 to 95 category. Convinced that this remarkable woman could help unlock many of the mysteries of aging, Grierson set out to uncover what it is that's driving Olga. He considers every piece of the puzzle, from her diet and sleep habits to how she scores on various personality traits, from what she does in her spare time to her family history. Olga participates in tests administered by some of the world's leading scientists and offers her DNA to groundbreaking research trials. What emerges is not only a tremendously uplifting personal story but a look at the extent to which our health and longevity are determined by the DNA we inherit at birth, and the extent to which we can shape that inheritance. It examines the sum of our genes, opportunities, and choices, and the factors that forge the course of any life, especially during our golden years.

©2014 Bruce Grierson (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Exhilarating.... A stimulating and inspiring read for all." ( Library Journal, Starred Review)

What listeners say about What Makes Olga Run?

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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I can't stop talking about this book

I have told a half dozen friends about this book. I can't stop talking about it. It was so interesting and fascinating and I'll go so far to say life changing.
The genius of this book is the how fun it is to get to know Olga as a person while you learn a ton about the scientific reasons why some people age better than others.
This book is dense with facts, studies, and scientific theories that are interesting. I learned a lot--facts and information that I can apply to my own life. But all that denseness is lightened by Olga.
Olga is just fun to know. She's awe-inspiring as a person and it was truly entertaining to learn about all her feats.
The narrator was great.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

17 people found this helpful

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You're not trapped in an aging body

Olga is in her nineties, and has the body and athletic abilities of someone much younger. With hundreds of medals in her closet, no one is disputing that she is a super athlete - the only question is, why? Olga wants to know, too, and she and the author set about to find the answers, looking at everything from muscle fibers to diet to psychology. The importance of exercise comes up again and again,and this book is the very embodiment of the carrot-instead-of-a-stick approach to get us all moving. Like Born to Run and the ultra marathoners, Olga made me realize humans do not necessarily have the physical limitations we may think we do. The book has a lot to say about how to get a better quality of life, too. Olga is an inspiring person, and this is an inspiring, helpful book.

3 people found this helpful

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Inspired by Olga

Everyone desires to figure out the keys to longevity and wellness and people pay big money in health industries to do so. Olga, in her mid-90s, breaks 26 world track records and seems to have the secret for both longevity and wellness. This book goes into the science of Olga, documenting what allows her to do the things she does at such an old age. An interesting and pertinent read for any one who is feeling like age is a limitation.

1 person found this helpful

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Check it out

As always Sean Pratt is a fantastic narrator.

Next, this book is for anyone interested in the aging, the science of aging, track and field, or just someone looking for a good biography.

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Motivational for People Over 50

The author gives you insight and reasons to never give up hope. Your age is irrelevant. Your attitude is important. Our genes have an impact but it's the internal drive inside us that will keep us going.

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inspiration for "mature adults"

Loved this description of a master track and field champion, who started her ascent to greatness in her sixties or seventies. I really enjoyed the life lessons summarized in the last chapter.

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Truly enjoyed

Would you listen to What Makes Olga Run? again? Why?

Not sure if I would listen again, but enjoyed the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Olga of course. I loved her attitude.

Have you listened to any of Sean Pratt’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It was a good listen.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I mostly listened while I was driving.

Any additional comments?

Olga is an inspiration and a reminder that we can do anything if we put our minds to it.

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Inspiring and entertaining for all ages and abilities!

This book is chock full of humor, feel good relationships and cool science-y stuff.

As a fitness professional, I found it immensely helpful in my practice of helping people move better, longer.

I recommend this book to everyone regardless of athletic ability or age.