Swimming: 99-year-old Betty Brussel breaks several records in Canada

Sport Betty Brussel

99-year-old swimmer astonishes with three world records

As of: 4:19 p.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

Betty Brussel after her record-breaking race at a swimming competition in Canada

Quelle: YouTube: Master Ducks Swimming

Betty Brussel will soon be 100 years old. That doesn’t stop the sprightly woman from outdoing her competition in swimming competitions. She enjoys gliding through the water, says Brussel. She relies on her very own training method.

Betty Brussel, 99, is a remarkable athlete. The sprightly woman broke three world records in the 100 to 104 age group at a swimming event in Saanich, British Columbia. At an astonishing pace, Brussel swam the 400 meters in freestyle, almost four minutes faster than the old record holder. On the 50-meter course she set further best times in the backstroke and breaststroke disciplines.

Brussel, who was born in the Netherlands in 1924, learned to swim with her siblings in the canals near Amsterdam. At 35, she emigrated to Canada with her husband Gerrit and settled in Grand Forks. It wasn’t until she was in her mid-60s that the fit senior discovered her passion for competitive swimming and took part in the British Columbia Senior Games.

“I didn’t know what I was doing, but I really enjoy swimming,” Brussel recently told the Guardian. She loves sliding through the water, “then I feel really good.” She is celebrated by her many fans as a legend who inspires others.

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Despite her advanced age, Brussel trains in the pool twice a week, and says she relies on continuous training without excessive drill. “I’m a bit lazy,” admits the 99-year-old, although her haul of medals is considerable. Linda Stanley Wilson, chairwoman of the White Rock Wave Swim Club, of which Brussel has been a member for five years, confirms the exceptional performance of her club member.

Documentary about Betty Brussel planned

The currently 99-year-old ended up in the over 100 category because the places are allocated according to the year of birth. The number of candidates at this age is naturally limited, so it is often enough for Betty to reach the finish line to win a medal.

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Since her husband’s death, Brussel has been living alone and trying to stay active in other areas. She enjoys reading, doing puzzles, solving mathematical puzzles and knitting. “I only feel old when I’m really tired,” said Brussel, whose 70-year-old son recently described her as “really old.”

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Her extraordinary drive has inspired filmmakers Hannah Walsh and Emma Puchniak to make a documentary about Brussels, scheduled for release later this year.

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