At the 2019 Swim Ontario Masters Provincial Championships last weekend, 95-year old Kalis Rasmussen established five new Masters World Records in the 95-99 age group category in short course meters.
Rasmussen competed in the 50 (1:17.82), 100 (2:42.13), and 200 backstrokes (5:42.83), as well as the 50 (1:32.51) and 200 breaststrokes (7:22.30). She was the only athlete within her age group category competing at the meet.
Competing for the Etobicoke Olympium Masters Aquatic Club (EOMAC) based in Ontario, Rasmussen has racked up over 20 Canadian Master’s national records across the 85-89 and 90-94 age groups under the direction of her coach and EOMAC Board of Directors president Mirko Petrov.
In an interview with Breakfast Television, an Ontario news station, Rasmussen and Petrov discussed her training regimen.
“I swim about three or four times a week,” said Rasmussen. “I only swim for about an hour, but they [the rest of her practice group] swims for an hour and a half. I’ve got a swimming pool in the building I’m living in, and then I go down there the days I’m not swimming with the club.”
Originally from Denmark, Rasmussen moved to Canada 1951 where she has been ever since. She began swimming competitively at the age of eight, but her swimming ambitions would experience an abrupt halt.
“Then the war [World War II] came,” she explained, “and then we didn’t swim, and then I didn’t stop working.”
Although she wasn’t afforded the opportunity to develop a successful swimming career during her childhood, she would later harness her swimming ambitions with a return to competitive swimming in 2000 – at the ripe age of 76.
“The members of our team are really accommodating for her, so they give her her own lane and her own space,” Petrov attested. “She does her own kind of thing.”
Rasmussen competed at the 2017 FINA Masters World Championships in Budapest in the 90-94 division, where she won gold in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, and took silver in the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes.
“Everywhere she is just inspiring people, letting them know that you can still do it,” remarked Petrov.
Congrats to Kalis Rasmussen, who broke FIVE 95-99 year old world records at the Swim Ontario Masters Provincials this past weekend! 🏊♀️💪 https://t.co/wNnPCgTxnB
— Swim Ontario (@SwimOntario) April 29, 2019