In a previous post, we discussed Ole Larson, a 92-year-old masters swimmer from North Carolina. Although he may be the veteran in his region, we recently came across another athlete who could possibly offer Larson a few lessons. Jaring Timmerman, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, recently entered the record books as the world's oldest masters swimmer. The athlete, who is just a few days shy of turning 105, completed the 50 meter backstroke and freestyle races at a meet on January 24.
By just participating in the meet, Timmerman set two world records, and upon his birthday on January 31 will create a new competition category for swimmers aged 105 to 109. Currently, the oldest age class is 100 to 104.
"I'll be the only one that will have a world record at 105 because no one else has it at this time," Timmerman told Canada's CBC News. "It's a challenge. That's what it is, so that's why I swim," he said.
Timmerman was a bit late to the swimming scene, as he began competing in the sport competitively at the age of 79. He makes it to the pool at least two times a week. Twenty years into his career, doctors recommended that he stop swimming due to a torn ligament in his shoulder. Instead of packing up his competition swimwear and finally settling into a life of retirement, Timmerman simply switched his stroke and kept going.
Although Timmerman did not win either race that he participated in, he set two personal records in addition to his age feats. He still plans making his weekly trips to the pool.