At 106, Aida Gemanque becomes the oldest Olympic torch bearer
Here is a bit of Olympic related heart-warming news. 106 year-old Aida Gemanque proved that age is just a number as she became the oldest Olympic torch bearer on Thursday when she carried the flame in the Amazonian city of Macapa. With this, she broke the earlier record of Alexander Kaptarenko, who was 101 when he took part in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay, Xinhua news agency reported.
An elated Gemanque’s said, “I am overjoyed. I have to be grateful for this joy, which I never expected in my life. I am immensely proud.” This is not the first time that the enthusiastic lady has broken records though. She was declared the world’s oldest skydiver only three years ago, which incidentally earned her the nickname ” extreme granny. ”
The Olympic torch was carried on the same day by another woman who deserves mention here. 54 year-old Maria das Dores Rosário Almeida, a lady who has been working for many years to preserve the history of Afro-Brazilian resistance in the region as well as provide a platform for women to voice their opinions. She does this through her two networks- Negras da Amazônia Brasileira or Black Women of the Brazilian Amazon and the collective Instituto de Mulheres Negras do Amapá the The Institute of Black Women of Amapá. What’s interesting about her is that she is the great-granddaughter of slaves.
Such extraordinary women taking the Olympic torch should surely serve as inspiration not only to the athletes but also to people like you and me. And just in case you are wondering about the path of the torch, it will pass through 325 Brazilian cities which involves around 12,000 runners’ participation over 95 days before ending at Rio’s Maracana Stadium for the lighting of the Olympic cauldron on August 5.
Feature Image Credit: olympicsnewsalerts.com