Five indomitable athletes aged 82 to 100 defy boundaries on the track and in life, overcoming obstacles with passion, determination and youthful vigour. This delightful film won Amsterdam Doc Festival’s youth jury award.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
Age neither defines nor limits five indomitable European athletes training for the World Masters Athletic Championships. Jiri (82) may have trouble reading the entrance forms, but he attacks the high jump with youthful zeal. Discus thrower Alfred (100) admits that years bring age spots, but so long as limbs work he’s not too bothered. Herbert (93), preparing for the 100-metre sprint, dispels notions about what body parts men in their 90s can raise. Ilse holds the shot put world record for the over-85s, while Gabre questions what exactly ‘old woman’ means. Whatever such a creature is, it isn’t her and she won’t discuss her age. This engaging bunch generously welcomes us into their lives, on and off track and field, and candidly shares personal histories. Their resilience is flabbergasting, their determination inspirational. All are lucid about what lies ahead in the long run; perhaps this is what drives them to make the most of the present. The wisdom, passion and humour with which they do so qualify them all as champions. — SR