Three-time 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines continues to be one of the biggest names in swimming even into his 50′s. Earlier today, at a Masters competition in Osaka, Japan, Gaines broke the 50-54 Age Group record in the long course 100m free in 54.6. That clips the old mark that was set by another American, Bob Bugg, in 2009. The old record was 54.94.
Gaines is now both the short course and long course record holder for the 50-54 age group in the 100 free. Gaines also previously held the overall FINA World Record in the 100 free from 1981-1985.
Gaines has been a specimen of fitness into his 50′s, and his incredible fitness was credited for his full recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome that left him paralyzed for two months in 1991. After recovering, he qualified for the 1996 Olympic Trials, which at the time made him the oldest male swimmer to do so (that honor now belongs to 39-year old Steve West, who at this year’s TYR Meet of Champions qualified for the 2012 London Trials in the 200 breaststroke).
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