For some people, retirement means a life of relaxation with trips to the golf course and visits with the grandkids at the top of their to-do lists. Ninety-two-year-old Ole Larson's idea of retirement, however, is a bit more active. The resident of Boone, North Carolina, is one of the nation's oldest competitors in U.S. Masters Swimming.
Larson, who was born when Speedo was still in its infancy and before TYR Swimwear even existed, holds six Masters records in breaststroke and freestyle events.
In an in interview with the Charlotte Observer, a local newspaper, Larson explained why swimming has been such a large part of his life for so long.
"If I'm working on my breaststroke, I can think about what I'm doing and try to get the thing right and get all the parts that have to fit together," Larson told the source. "It's just a great relief. I feel comfortable in the water and feel great when I get out. I sleep well, and my health is good."
The athlete started swimming as a child in his home state of Wisconsin. He was an age-group swimmer at his local YMCA, and joked with the source that "back in his day" the pool wasn't heated. His team regularly practiced in 60 degree water.
As a college student, Larson was an all-around athlete, lettering not only in swimming, but tennis and basketball as well. He followed his college success with a career as the swimming coach for Appalachian State University.
When asked by the Observer if swimming has contributed to his longevity, Larson said that the sport has saved his life many times over.