Ottey still fired by passion
What are most 50-year-olds doing right now? They are working hard towards retirement, enjoying time with grandchildren and hopefully enjoying life's little luxuries every now and again.
The usual picture can not be painted for Merlene Ottey, the athletic legend who turned 50 in May.
Out here in Barcelona I have been interviewing many people: the stars of the Championships, an occasional exciting new star or Britain's next medal shot.
But when I was asked to go and interview the ageless Ottey I was delighted.
She is currently a member of the Slovenian 4x100 relay team, but also the most bemedalled major-championships performer of all time.
She has 27 of them - nine Olympic medals, three world golds she is still the third fastest woman over 200m of all time.
I arrived at her team hotel wondering if she would remember me. We both won medals at Sydney 2000 - I had just turned 26 and she was 40.
Also there is the small fact that Linford can't sprint further than 10 metres now - his words not mine!
There she was sitting in reception, one of the best athletes the world has ever seen, flicking through today's programme for the Championships, looking exactly like she did 20 years ago.
We set up for the interview - she did remember me - and I started with the question that she must have been getting asked for at least the last 15 years: Why are you still competing?
Why at 50 years old are you still running and on the verge of breaking another record by becoming the oldest ever competitor at the European Championships?
Passion is the reason and I got a sense of 'because I can'. What struck me as we chatted was how her mood would change depending on the question, in a very subtle way.
She waxed lyrical about her many medals - not in a big-headed way - but then would show frustration at missing that elusive Olympic gold, despite competing in seven Games, beginning in Moscow in 1980, when she won 200m bronze for Jamaica as a fresh-faced 20-year-old.
The frustration was cut deeper by the fact that she had missed out on a few individual golds through the smallest of margins.
She was relaxed but guarded, citing the fact she had a Slovenian coach as the reason why - after so much success and adoration in Jamaica - she became naturalised Slovenian in 2002.
She spoke with passion and excitement about the dominance of Jamaican sprinting now, clearly aware of the big part she played in its rise.
When I told what Usain Bolt told me two weeks ago in Paris, that he didn't consider himself a legend yet like her, she was touched.
The most frustration appeared in her wrinkle-free eyes when speaking of the current women's 100m world record.
Did she ever in her career think she could challenge the 10.49 second mark set by Florence Griffth-Joyner in 1988?
Hang on, I'd hit a nerve!
It was a windy race and should never have been rewarded, is a shorter version of a passionate answer.
So Flo Jo should not be the women's 100m world record holder?
After the interview ended, I sat and thought about the person I had properly met for the first time.
She was understandably angry about unobtainable records, frustrated at missing the Olympic gold she so desired by the thickness of a hair, yet still very much in love with a sport she adores.
Why else at 50 would you still train and attend championships running a second slower than at your peak? I get the feeling that athletics is and always will be her life, and she has sacrificed many things for it.
For me it has meant that when I watch her run on the final leg for Slovenia here in Barcelona on Saturday, I will have an even higher admiration for as athletics legend.