Master swimmers prove age is only a number

Diane Stowell
Diane Stowell
Albert Minn
Albert Minn

By Jason Tang - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - They say you are as young as you feel. And a group of masters swimmers right here in Hawaii are proving -- for them, age is nothing but a number.

Their average age is 65 years old. But if you think these swimmers are just relaxing in the water, think again.

"It's competition, it's not recreation. Recreation you just play, we work, we work hard," said Diane Stowell, a 74-year-old Old Masters swimmer.

The Hawaii Masters Swimming Association is the organizing body for Hawaii's adult swimming community. And they know age doesn't matter when it comes to winning.

"Everybody has a competitive spirit in them," said Meet Director Albert Minn. "If you're a competitor you want to compete, but more so you want to know how you're doing, and that's very important they always want to do better, they come out of the pool like little age group kids and they want to know what there time was."

But winning isn't everything. A lot of the swimmers are in it to keep up their health.

"Swimming is wonderful, you don't have to, it doesn't hurt the joints like some of the other impact type sports,"said Stowell.

And it doesn't hurt that the older the division, the better the chances of winning.

"For instance, an 87-year-old guy swims and wins the gold medal, why? There's nobody else but him in that age group right," said Minn.

And though there might not be many competitors in the older divisions here in Hawaii, that won't be the case on the mainland.

Many of the swimmers will compete in the Masters National Championship in Oregon this August.

Organizers hope they'll have nationals in Hawaii someday.