Usually, 100-year-olds do every thing in their power to avoid stepping on ice. Not Lola Holmes.
The centenarian from Vancouver finds comfort there. In mid-September, she became the world’s oldest curler when she pushed a 43-pound stone across the ice in a game for the first time since she turned 100.
“I would have never dreamed. I would have never thought there was such a person in the world,” she told CTV Vancouver. “I never even thought I would be living when I was 100, let alone curling.”
Holmes, who worked as a registered nurse in Sudbury, Ontario, tried curling for the first time at 25 years old. However, she put the sport aside for decades to raise two boys and work full-time. Then at 80 years, she picked it up again to stay active and meet new friends.
She plays two days a week and her son, Aubrey Homes, says his mother has quite the competitive spirit.
“The behind-the-scenes backdrop is: when she comes home, she’s absolutely enthusiastic about the fact that she’s won a game,” he told The Star. “Or she’s quite disappointed if she has not won a game. She’s competitive as well as energetic.”
She nearly had to quit the sport again when she was diagnosed with carpel tunnel syndrome at 83. However, after having surgery on both her wrists to correct the problem, she discovered a method that allows her to throw the rock from a standing position thanks to an extended pole.
Holmes lives with her 95-year-old brother, and when not on the ice, she finds other ways to get her exercise in, whether it’s walking or tai chi.
“I’m very fortunate, but I think most people are capable of doing a lot more than they think they can do,” she told CBC.
And who can with an athlete like that?