101-Year-Old Swimmer Steals the Show

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101-Year-Old Swimmer Continues to Raise the Bar

By Glenn Krakow, 9:00 am on

The crowd surrounding the pool eagerly watched the star swimmer. The 400-meter freestyle was a favorite event, and the woman in the pool was famous. In previous years she had both broken and set numerous records. Today they might be watching history in the making once again. Today, El Dorado County Home Care Assistance takes a moment to share the story of an inspiring centenarian swimmer.

Rio Olympics? No. Across the world near Tokyo, Meiko Nagaoka steadily swims the eight laps. As she approaches the wall, she can’t hear the roaring crowd and turns to begin a ninth lap. She is not tired yet, and would rather just keep swimming. Her trainer and race officials get her attention and help her from the water. En masse the crowd rises to its feet and cheers its encouragement. 

Meiko smiles and waves her 101-year-old hand at the crowd.

Meiko Nagaoka is part of a growing population in Japan and across the globe: active centenarians. And like many in her exclusive club, she does not consider growing old a reason to slow down. She would argue it is as good a time as any to speed up.

She discovered her passion for swimming when she was 82 and began pool exercises to help her sore knees. Soon, she hired a trainer and began honing her sport in earnest, and shortly after began competing. Since then, she has set record after record in her age range. 

Most recently, just before her 102nd birthday, she swam the 400-meter freestyle at the Japan Masters Swimming Association event in Chiba, Japan, close to Tokyo. Choosing to swim the entire event using the backstroke, Mieko finished the race well behind the 80-year-old winner, but as always she was a crowd favorite.

Her son attributes her long life to her attitude. Meiko has never “played by the rules” or done what was expected of her. Her spirited approach to life and firm belief in pursuing passions keeps her diving into the pool time and time again, inspiring the myriad of generations admiring her.

If your aging loved one needs help maintaining an active lifestyle in the golden years, we can help.  Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of live-in, part-time, and respite care El Dorado County families trust. Our friendly caregivers can provide mobility support, prepare healthy meals, and offer emotional support. For more information, call (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 today and schedule a free in-home consultation.