Talk about inspiring.
A man from Winnipeg, Canada is setting world records in swimming and blazing new trails in the pool. No, he isn’t a Rio Olympic hopeful. He’s a 104-year-old swimmer.
Jaring Timmerman swam in the Master’s competition over the weekend where an entirely new age group had to be created for him: 105-109. Since he turns 105 next month, the category was instituted to accommodate his longevity. The Pan Am Pool was crowded with family and friends of Timmerman as well as swim fans just excited to see history in the making.
Timmerman clocked in at 3:09.55 in the 50-meter back stroke at the Katherine Kerr Pentathlon and then swam a 2:52.48 in the 50-meter freestyle race.
That’s only two and half minutes slower than the world’s fastest recorded freestyle race.
But who’s to say Timmerman’s achievement isn’t equally as remarkable?
Jaring began competitive swimming at the ripe age of 79 and has spent his last 25 years training in the pool twice a week despite his doctor’s advice that he give up the sport since he’s torn some ligaments in his shoulder.
Timmerman says he sustained the injury when he was about 100 and has since changed his stroke under his son’s supervision so he doesn’t injure it further. Neither father nor son seem concerned.
“I think him always having a goal and working to achieve something has probably given him longevity,” his son Don remarked.
Timmerman’s 3:09.55 backstroke time was both a world and personal record. Even in the younger category, Jaring had never swum it that fast.
He holds four records in the 100-104 Masters age bracket.
After the race when asked about whether or not he sees himself making it to another age group he chuckled and said, “no, I don’t anticipate that.”
When asked why he chooses to swim competitively, Timmerman responded that he likes the challenge. I wonder what the next challenge for the centenarian will be.
Now don't mind me. I'll just be binge-eating Pringles from my couch while a man four times my age makes history.