Making a Splash : Watch 4 Men in their 90’s Set a World Swimming Record

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Last Updated on May 16, 2024

An ageist culture leads many to believe that your later years are simply a time to withdraw from life. To keep your feet up, rest, and fade away.

Four masters swimmers formed a team to smash that stereotype, and prove to the world that we can all stay active, healthy and engaged in life into our 80’s, 90’s and beyond.

History was made at the Sixth Annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic in 2014 that still makes just as much of a splash today as it did a decade ago. Edwin Graves, 91, Tiger Holmes, 93, John Corse, 90, and William Adams, 88, all former college swimmers who stopped swimming for decades, went on an age-group record setting binge. The swimmers’ combined age is 362: an average of 90.5!

Click here to watch their record-setting-relay in action!

Their swims in the 400 free relay (9:52.10) and 800 free relay (21:24.39) were the first official relays ever completed for their age group, which is determined by adding the ages of the four swimmers. Their combined age of 362 years made them eligible for FINA world records in the 360-399 age group.

“It was a matter of mathematical probability,” said Bill Adams, 88. “It had nothing to do with our swimming ability. It had to do with putting together four people in an age group like ours, and that’s a difficult thing to do.”

“I’ve never had an experience like that in my life,” said 3-time Olympian Rowdy Gaines, host of the swim meet who witnessed the historical relay. “It means a lot to me, it really does.”

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Although it took more than 20 minutes for the team to set the 800 record, the finishing time was never going to be the lasting legacy of this relay performance. Everyone who has watched these four men take on this challenge in their 90’s can apply their inspiring example to their own life. It may not be swimming, but we all have passions to pursue in our later years as we continue Growing Bolder. No matter what others tell you can or can’t be done, there are always barriers to be broken and dreams to be pursued.

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