You knew that Rowdy was a great swimmer in his younger days and that he’s now the voice of swimming in the United States, but he’s also an accomplished Masters swimmer.
Back in October of 2009, Gaines, 50 at the time, clocked a time of 23.38 in the SCM 50 free at the “Rowdy Gaines Classic,” breaking the previous 50-54 Masters world record of 23.97, set by Brent Barnes earlier that year in April.
That mark stood on the books for nearly 13 years until Fydler put up a time of 23.36 at an Australian Masters meet in New South Wales at the end of May, leading off his team’s 200 free relay.
Although Fydler won’t turn 50 until November, FINA recognizes an athlete’s age as of December 31st of the year of competition for Masters meets.
The first 50m by Fydler pic.twitter.com/tMv82gF4IR
— Nick (@nicktehwalrus) May 30, 2022
During his competitive career, Fydler’s best time in the SCM 50 free was 21.97, according to swimrankings.
Fydler is perhaps best known for swimming the second leg of the Australian men’s 400 freestyle relay at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, when the Aussie quartet of Michael Klim (48.18), Fydler (48.48), Ashley Callus (48.71) and Ian Thorpe (48.30) combined for a time of 3:13.67 to break the world record and upset the heavily favored Americans.
Fydler also won World Championship gold in 1998 on Australia’s 400 medley relay, added a silver in the 400 free relay, and was a 20-time Australian national champion.
Gaines, who won three Olympic gold medals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, still holds the SCM 50-54 Masters world record in the men’s 200 free (1:54.61), and also owns the U.S. Masters records in the 50, 100 and 200 free in short course yards and the 50 in long course meters in the age group.