Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from athletes around the world in their non-aquatic habitats, helping us get to know them for more than just an event ranking or time on a board. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 – Shane Gould Becomes Oldest Survivor
Australian Olympic gold medalist Shane Gould was crowned champion of a different sort, as the 61-year-old won this season’s Australian TV show, Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders. As winner of the Sole Survivor title, Gould collected a $500,000 check and also earned the honor of becoming the oldest winner in Australian Survivor history.
Of the triple Olympic gold medalists’ perspective on aging, Gould stated, “Be encouraged that even though there’s a lot of social pressures that push you aside, you’ve got to fight for your ability to continue to contribute and participate in society.
“Being an older person, it goes to show that we’re not washed up, dried out and used, we’re certainly not. I came into this game as a champion and I’m leaving as a champion. It’s up there with my other achievement. It’s really the icing on the cake.”
Gould won gold medals in the 200m free, 400m free and 200m IM at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, while also clinching 800m free silver and 100m free bronze at those same Games.
#2 – Trinidad Swimming Records Fall
Kael Yorke, Trinidad’s flag bearer at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games that are still underway in Buenos Aires, earned a new national age group record while racing in Argentina. Earning a time of 2:05.03 in the heats of the men’s 200m fly, Yorke clocked a new 15-17 national age group record to surpass his own previous mark of 2:05.20 set at the CAC Games. Yorke would up finishing 21st out of the prelims of the event at YOG.
Competing at the 1st October Classic Invitation Swimming Championships recently, Zarek Wilson of Blue Dolphin Swim Club earned a Trinidadian national age record for the boys’ 11-12 200m fly. Wilson notched a mark of 2:20.25 to overtake the aforementioned Yorke’s previous 11-12 NAG of 2:21.68 from 2013.
Finally, Keryn Burke of Atlantis Aquatics took down a national age group record of her own, competing at the annual Peter Awong Memorial Sprint Meet over last weekend. Burke established a new girls’ 9-10 NAG record in the 100m IM, touching in 1:15.82 to overtake the previous record of 1:16.00.
#3 – Freya Anderson on BBC Young Sports Personality Shortlist
17-year-old Freya Anderson of Great Britain is on the shortlist of nominees up for BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year. The Ellesmere Titans swimmer clinched 4 medals at this year’s European Championships, serving as a critical component to England’s gold medal-winning women’s 4 x 200m freestyle and mixed 4 x 100m medley relays. She also took home bronze as a member of England’s women’s 4 x 100m medley and mixed 4 x 200m freestyle relays.
Anderson, who competed in both the World Junior and World Senior Championships last year, said of her recognition, “I’m super happy to be nominated for this. It’s an absolute honour and after successfully transitioning from junior to senior this year I hope I’ve inspired a few juniors that they can do it too.”
The 10 initial nominees, which also includes para swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton, will be narrowed down to just 3 on October 19th, with the winner announced on October 21st.
Other contenders are:
Kare Adenegan (Para-athletics)
James Bowen (Horse racing)
Max Burgin (Athletics)
Jack Draper (Tennis)
Georgia-Mae Fenton (Gymnastics)
Anna Hursey (Table tennis)
Georgia Roche (Rugby League)
Ryan Sessegnon (Football)
Maisie Summers-Newton (Para-swimming)
#4 – Alia Atkinson Awarded Order of Distinction
World record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica was recently conferred with her nation’s Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for her outstanding representation in the field of swimming.
“I don’t think anything else that I’ve done so far tops it,” Atkinson told The Gleaner shortly after being conferred with the honour.
“When I was sitting there and just absorbing everything it just made me feel like I need to try a lot harder in terms of things I can still accomplish and also try harder to embody all that I’ve accomplished,” said the former Texas A&M athlete.
Atkinson won 100m breaststroke gold at the 2014 Short Course World Championships, becoming the first black woman to ever win a world swimming title. More recently, the 29-year-old lowered her own SCM 50 breaststroke world record to 28.56 while competing at the World Cup Series in Budapest.
The Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander is Jamaica’s sixth highest honor.