Dr Alex Rotas explains her reasons
What did you know of Wedmore before getting involved with our Arts Festival? I used to live along the road from Wedmore in Wookey and have very good friends in the village, so I’ve been a frequent visitor over the years. I have always admired the combination the village seems to offer of rural charm without rural sleepiness! Something always seemed to be going on there. And now the Wedmore Arts Festival. Well. I rest my case.
What do you prefer -
Which of our many
And which in the rest of the world? I’m not a great tourist. Bucket lists of places to visit have never been for me. But I travel a lot, partly because so many of my family and friends live outside the
Which photographer/ veteran athlete do you most admire? There are so many wonderful, top-class photographers, but the one I’m going to go for is my Turkish friend and colleague, Baris Barlas. I met him when we were both photographing the European Veteran Athletics Championships in
It’s tough deciding which veteran athlete I admire most. Each has a story – and I’m looking forward to sharing some of these stories at the Festival. As they get older, most of them face the same sorts of health issues we all do. They fall, they break bones, they need hip or knee replacements, they have heart attacks, strokes, cancers. But they also have a ‘bloody minded’ attitude to their misfortunes.
But to pick just two: Tony Bowman, now 81 (and a half, as he insists). A world champion hurdler (think about it, a man in his 80s, hurdling…), he always crosses the finishing line looking as though he’s about to have a heart attack. He just can’t hold himself back. Once the starting gun goes, he says, there’s nothing else he can do; his competitive instinct takes over. A couple of years ago he did in fact need heart surgery, but six months later there he was again, ‘rattling with pills’, and back on the track winning medals. Tony calls himself ‘the luckiest and healthiest 81 year old in the country’.
The other is a woman, the late, great Canadian masters athlete, Olga Kotelko. Olga was born in 1919 and she only took up athletics when she was 77 and found herself thrown off her softball team for being ‘too old’. Undaunted, she thought to herself that she could run and she could throw, so why not start learning some of the events in athletics? She pretty much mastered all of them. In March 2014, she turned 95 and was delighted to enter a new age group (in masters athletics you compete in 5 year age bands and they change on the zero and five of your age). So now she was the new kid on the block in the 95-99 year old age group. She got herself on a plane from her native
After Wedmore, what’s your next project? I’m off in August to Aarhus in
Alex will be speaking at 12 noon on Thursday 13 July in the Club Room at The Swan Wedmore. The talk will be followed by a light lunch with the speaker in The Swan.
Tickets: £8 / £20 to include lunch