Bruce Grierson is the biographer for Olga Kotelko (2 March 1919 - 24 June 2014) who was a Canadian nonagenarian track and field athlete. She held over 30 world records and won over 750 gold medals in various age categories, including 17 of them in the 90-95 age categories. What Makes Olga Run? (Henry Holt and Co. 2014) explores what drove this remarkable 94-year-old woman to compete. Grierson studied everything from Kotelko's diet and sleep patterns, to personality tests, and spare time activities, to try to puzzle out what made this track star tick. What Makes Olga Run? examines the extent to which our health and longevity is determined by DNA, and how much can we shape our destiny. Kotelko, a B.C. resident, was the seventh of eleven children born to Ukrainian immigrant farmers Wasyl and Ann Shawaga in Vonda, Saskatchewan.

Bruce Grierson also works as a Contributing Editor to Adbusters magazine; also a writer for The New York Times Magazine. He has been nominated for eight Canadian National Magazine awards, and is the co-author of Culture Jam. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and daughter.


U-turn: What If You Woke Up One Morning And Realized You Were Living The Wrong Life? (Raincoast/Bloomsbury) 978-1-58234-584-0; $32.95

What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives (Henry Holt and Co. 2014) $25.00 9780805097207

[BCBW 2014]