The European Masters athletics championships 2017 in Denmark is currently hosting over 4000 masters athletes – all over the age of 35 with some of them over 90 years old.
Dr Alex Rotas is currently photographing some of Europe’s most elite masters athletes. Dr Alex Rotas is a sports photographer who is challenging offensive and detrimental stereotypes about aging. For example birthday cards aimed at older people which make jokes about forgetting things or being hard at hearing. Alex plans to change people’s opinions on older people through her photography, public speaking and getting older herself.
Alex has been updating her social media with individual human interest stories in the same sort of style as Humans of New York. Each Athlete that Alex photographs has their own individual story to tell, and their own journey that they’ve made.
Take the story of 91 year old Dalbir SIngh Deol.
Here is his story, as told by Alex Rotas.
“What a day it was yesterday here at EMACS 2017 Aarhus.
The 400m finals were pure joy to watch. First off were the 90-94 year old athletes, a remarkable field of 4. And Great Britain’s Dalbir SIngh Deol, 91, hot off the blocks, true to his pre-race strategy, came through as new European Champion in 1:58.22. Take a look at his forward stride and the incline of his body as he runs. And enjoy his delight afterwards, GB flag around his neck, with his proud daughter Jazz. Lovely moments, not only for him and for her but for all of us lucky enough to be there too.
He’d planned his strategy well in advance. He was going to run flat out, he’d told me, for the first 300m, by which point “the other fellows will be demoralised.” This was an approach apparently recommended to him by his running coach in India in 1953. I wondered how he’d get through the remaining 100m. “Doesn’t matter,” he said. “I should be so far ahead by then, I can walk the last 100 if I have to.”
Mind games or what?
Anyway it worked. He was indeed way ahead of his rivals at 300m. And he didn’t walk any of the last 100. He ran all the way.”
If you would like to find out more about Alex’s masters athletes stories, please visit her Facebook page.
Alex Rotas is a photographer, writer and public speaker. Alex was so inspired by the subjects of her photos that she’s now an ambassador for England Athletics #RunTogether.