104-year-old trains for world-record swim

Above: Jaring Timmerman of Winnipeg plans to celebrate his 105th birthday by going for a record in the swimming pool. Lauren McNabb has the story.

WINNIPEG – Jaring Timmerman is working hard to prove it’s never too late to reach your goals.

The swimmer, who turns 105 in a month, is training for one more meet in an effort to set world records in two races.

“I hope I can do it,” he said this week. “We’ll try.”

Timmerman, who remembers watching returning World War I soldiers as a boy, will swim Friday in the 50 metre backstroke and the 50 metre freestyle races at the Catherine Kerr Pentathlon at Pan Am Pool in Winnipeg.

He is the current world record holder in the 100 to 104 age group in four categories: 50 metre backstroke, 50 metre freestyle, 100 metre backstroke and 100 metre freestyle.

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After he turned 104, he moved up to the next age category, and all he has to do Friday is complete his race to set the record — there is no current world record holder.

“So it’s a cinch,” he said about the race. “I should be able to get the world record.”

WATCH: Jaring Timmerman, 104, trains on Wednesday for his races Friday.

His son Don Timmerman, 72, jokes that he has a few years before he needs to pick a competitive sport because his father didn’t take up competitive swimming until he was 79.

“He’s an inspiration to us all,” he said. “You can do what you want to do, but you have to be disciplined, you have to work hard and just keep focused, and that’s what he’s done and it’s a good example for all of us.”

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His father’s goal was always to set world records, Don Timmerman said, and he decided after he set the first four at age 100, he’d continue until he could set records in the next age group.

“His desire is so great to just keep going with life that we thought he would be there,” Don said.

Jaring Timmerman still swims twice a week and isn’t ready to settle for the 160 or 170 medals he’s won.

“When I’m in a competition, I take it seriously,” he said. “If you don’t give it all you’ve got, forget about it.”

WATCH: Jaring Timmerman speaks to Derek Taylor on the Winnipeg Morning News on Thursday.

To see more about Jaring Timmerman, watch Lauren McNabb’s report on Global National Wednesday.


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