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The 100 year old torch bearer

Among the 7,000 names of runners carrying the torch for the London 2012 Olympic Games is Diana Gould, who will turn 100 in May.

The remarkably active 99-year-old, who lives in a retirement flat in London was put forward to carry the Olympic torch by her granddaughter Alexandra Antscherl without her knowledge.

Despite the initial surprise when selected, the great-grandmother of six was delighted to have been chosen to have the honour of carrying the flame for 300 yards.

“What does it mean to me? A real achievement!,” she exclaimed, “I do walk with a stick but I can walk without it. If I can do that holding the torch, that’s fantastic.”

Mrs Gould played badminton and table-tennis until she was 86 and puts the maintenance of her sprightly mental and physical condition down to keeping her mind and body active.

The nonogenerian teaches exercise to elderly people much younger than her in order to “teach them to be mobile” and feeds her mind with crossword puzzles and knitting.

But apart from all the activity, Mrs Gould, who celebrates her centenary on May 23, it appears the secret to remaining youthful lies in your attitude to age.

“First of all, I don’t think I’m old. I might be a 100 in numbers but I’m not old, I have never thought of myself as old,” Mrs Gould declared.