If a Hollywood scriptwriter had come up with the extraordinary story of Agnes Keleti -- the world’s oldest Olympic champion, who celebrated her 100th birthday recently -- as a piece of fiction, they would surely have been told to rein it in. Fleeing the Nazis, surviving the Holocaust with a false ID and later escaping the Soviet clampdown on Hungary? Competing in a first Olympic Games at age 31 before going on to win more medals than anyone else in Melbourne four years later? And then, just for good measure, passing her century bursting with a rare energy and unquenchable zest for life. It sounds like magical realism; it is all true. Keleti had this to say: “I love life. Health is the essence. Without it, there is nothing.”

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