They live amongst us

„Sweet granny

„Sweet granny" knows the recipe of a long life

Just a couple of weeks and the European Youth Olympic Festival, our first domestic Olympic event will begin in Győr. The must-have gears of the EYOF machine are the volunteers: more than one thousand and seven hundred high-school and university students, middle-aged and elderly people will help the athletes during the one week. Amongst them, Károlyné Ottó, auntie Kati, the eldest EYOF volunteer, who will celebrate her 84th birthday on the 12th of July. Sports play a highlighted role not just in her life but in her family's life too, in addition her Slovak language knowledge can be useful by informing the athletes.

We met auntie Kati at the volunteer day called VolunTeam Building Day, supported by the Erasmus+ Sport Program of the European Union which takes place in the University Hall and in Mobilis. She welcomes us nicely and introduces us her grandson Attila, who is one of her topmost supporters. Auntie Kati radiates pride, when she talks about her grandsons Attila and his twin Kristóf. Both young men study now at the Széchenyi István University and sport accompanies them since childhood. Likewise their granny accompanied them everywhere, when they chose to play ice hockey. At the age of six they already chased the puck on the ice, later toured the country, moreover they got to go abroad. "Ninety percent of my pension was spent on the twins sporting" –said Károlyné Ottó, who was called "Sweet granny" by the whole team. "I always had dry clothes with me, because the ice hockey players dressed up to the teeth were soaking wet after the games" – she tells and throws a loving glance at her electrical engineer-student grandson.
The boys tried always to reciprocate the great amount of love, which was given from their grandma to them, since they accompany her on events and they clean her home regularly, which can be found on the Bisinger boardwalk.
Sport always played a high lightened role in their family's life, since auntie Kati's daughter played tennis, while she chose the cool waters and oared. They had their site in the oaring boat house in Révfalu
"We played sports, had fun, there was no fooling around, despite we had a good time" – she says and ads, that she supports they sporting of young people, because it trains discipline and persistence, besides preserving health.
She yarns about her favorite trainers with great pleasure; she mentions the name of János Fürst and Viktor Szemenov, whose shape almost appears in front of me, as auntie Kati describes them.
Károlyné Ottó has not always lived in Győr, since she spent her childhood in the Pilis. She finished primary school in Pilisszentkereszt; from there her path led her to Nagyvázsony, to her auntie. Then in Győr she finished the economy technical school and found employment in the sales department of the Wagon Company, where she worked until her superannuation. "My heart bled as they broke down the Wagon Company" – she tells. Auntie Kati spoke very good Slovak even in her childhood, which is why she thought she can be helpful as an EYOF-volunteer for the foreign athletes.
To confirm her language knowledge, she starts a Slovak song, what we are listening with pleasure with her grandchild. Sure she not only loves singing and telling stories, she like reading too. She visits library regularly, where she looks through the daily newspapers and she incepts the actual informations.
She even borrowed a dictionary to freshen up her language knowledge. And when she's not reading, then she listens to lectures and goes on excursions. She is member of the Inner City Pensioner Club and the Civil Organization of Győr. We can meet her regularly in the University Hall not just as a volunteer but also as a student of the Pensioner University. "I have a diary in which I register for every day what kind of lectures will be held" – she says and she takes out her omniscient notebook, which is full of the hand written programs. "I can't believe if someone says they don't feel good in Győr" – she adds and she starts to recite the events of the following days. She tries to make the most of the cultural variety of Győr and if she can, she goes on foot for the various events. She walks thirty minutes three times a day in average, because moving is still unmissable from her life.
And what is the secret of a long life? Károlyné Ottó knows the recipe: "I don't let myself go a lot of stuff interests me". So the recipe is given, the only question is what we will cook for ourselves from it.

Author: Kornél Kaszás
Photo: Gábor Marcali

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