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  • Courtesy photos Fort Wayne native Susan Meyers, 75, took part in her third FINA World Masters Swim Championships last month in Budapest, Hungary, and brought home five medals – three golds and two silvers – in her six events. 

  • Meyers was among 6,000 swimmers at the FINA World Masters Swim Championships last month in Budapest, Hungary. One of her three gold medals is pictured here.

Sunday, September 24, 2017 1:00 am

World champion at age 75

Fort Wayne native swims to 3 gold medals at international meet

GREG JONES | The Journal Gazette

At 75 years old, Susan Meyers seems to be hitting her peak in her swimming career. 

The Fort Wayne native took part in her third FINA World Masters Swim Championships last month in Budapest, Hungary, and brought home five medals – three golds and two silvers – in her six events. 

She won one individual gold in the 100-meter butterfly and two relay golds. The World Masters event had 6,000 swimmers, in ages ranging from 25-97.

“It is kind of intimidating,” Meyers said of the championships. “There are so many people there, and the competition is intense. But it is fun because there is so much activity going on.”

Meyers, who began competitive swimming two decades ago, is a veteran of the event having swum in two other worlds, including in Italy in 2012. 

This time around, Meyers swam with the Florida Aquatic Combined Team because of a scheduling conflict with her Indianapolis team, which she has been with for 10 years. 

Meyers used to spend part of the year in Sarasota, Florida, and knew of three other women who recruited her to be a part of their team for the worlds, so they could have a complete four-swimmer relay team. Meyers will return to competing with her Indiana team. 

What started out as training to help coach her son, Chris, in youth swimming turned into participating in six to seven events a year herself, including the spring and summer national masters events and now three worlds. 

“The more you go to competitions, it tells you where you are, and you are always revising your goals as you achieve them,” Meyers said. “It is a challenge to yourself, and I like that. ... Once you win, you are like, 'I want to do that again.' ”

A 1959 South Side graduate, Meyers grew up going to the lake in the summers, so swimming has always been a part of her life. Once she started competing, though, it became even more a part of her life.

“It wasn't until after I started competing that I learned how to do the butterfly and learned how to do the breaststroke right,” she said.

Water is still a big part for her, living on Tri-Lakes near Columbia City.

Although Meyers admits her times get slower and she doesn't compete in as many events each year as she gets older, she has no plans to slow down when it comes to training and competing, although she isn't so sure about participating in the next worlds event in Seoul, South Korea, in 2019 in a politically charged portion of the world. 

“It enables me to do a lot of things aside from swimming that I might not be able to do physically if I weren't training the way I do,” Meyers said. “I am a big believer in exercise anyway, and this is an easy way to get it. I do other things too, but this is the main focus of my life right now.

“You can keep doing it as long as you can do it. Some people are lucky and hang in there until they're in their 90s; a lot of people still in their 80s still swim. You slow down, and I shake my head when people say age is just a number, it is more than a number when you are doing something like this because your goal is always to keep your same time, but you never can. You slow down. But I love to swim, and as long as I can, I will.”

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