As athletes of an advanced age continue to make their mark in sports, one of the most impressive performances of 2014 may have belonged to Florence Storch. At 101 years young, she competed against people almost twice her age at the Canada 55-plus games in Sherwood Park, Alberta.
Winning a silver medal in javelin in the 85-plus category, she balanced herself with her walker in order to successfully execute the medal winning throw. Holding the javelin with her right hand, she managed a throw of 3.18 meters.
Although each competitor had the opportunity to throw six times, Storch stopped after two throws, feeling that she had done her best. The gold medal went to Doreen Erskine. Hailing from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the 87-year-old threw for 5.24 metres.
Of note, she was the oldest athlete at this year’s edition of the Games, and has held that distinction at the provincial and national levels of competition for the last several years. Although she is unable to recall the exact time that she began competing in javelin, she can confirm that it has been at least a decade. Her decision to compete in javelin was attributed to the fact that she helped organize the senior’s games in her hometown of Hanna, Alberta and there were no competitors registered for the event. To this day, she practices on the grounds of the Hanna Seniors Centre, and even had a gym teacher from Hanna High School donate her time for coaching purposes.
It would lead to the start of a distinguished athletic career that has seen her accumulated various medals over the years, including provincial silver at 89 and a national gold at 95. Competing throughout Canada, she has also had the added bonus of travelling with her 70-year-old son Ed Storch, an active competitor as well. Believing that age is just a number, she is living proof that one is never too old to compete.