Senior swimmers make splash in their 90s - Tucson News Now

Senior swimmers make splash in their 90s

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Fred Klein (Source: Allison Herriot / Tucson News Now Intern) Fred Klein (Source: Allison Herriot / Tucson News Now Intern)
Mary Anne Cooper (Source: Lauren Ebrahim / Tucson News Now Intern) Mary Anne Cooper (Source: Lauren Ebrahim / Tucson News Now Intern)

By Allison Herriot and Lauren Ebrahim / Tucson News Now Interns

ORO VALLEY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - One day, Fred Klein was at the gym and decided he didn't have enough to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So he jumped in the pool to try a new workout: swimming.

After just one lap, a woman on the SaddleBrooke Masters team approached the 96 year old, saying, "You need to be on the swim team."

Klein started swimming in 2006 and swims at least three times per week along with the rest of the SaddleBrooke Swim Club Masters team. The team has around 50 members.  

As soon as Klein stepped up to the starting blocks for the 50-meter freestyle during a Masters Swim Meet on Saturday at the Oro Valley Aquatics Center, it was clear he was a celebrity among swimmers at the meet.  

Cheers could be heard all around the pool, and he was met with congratulations as soon as he touched the wall to finish.

Although everyone was impressed with his race, Klein wasn't too happy with the results.

When asked how he thought the race went, he said, "You want me to be honest with you? I missed my first turn, and during the last half of the race, I felt like I was dying." 

Klein was born on the East Coast before he flew plans over the Pacific Ocean during World War II Veteran. He was then the general manger of a carpet factory before moving to Tucson 12 years ago.

"He usually wins, because he is usually the only one his age swimming," said David Hoefferle, friend of Fred Klein. 

But Saturday, there was another swimmer over 90. 

Ninety-eight-year-old Mary Anne Cooper from Sun City participated in 100-meter backstroke.

When asked why she decided to participate in the event she said, "Why not!"

"I've been swimming since I was a young tadpole," Cooper said.

She said she enjoys how great of an exercise it is, while at the same time she gets to enjoy the fresh air, and cool water.

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