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Where great athletes are made

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Jaring Timmerman, 105, during his 50-metre backstroke heat during the Catherin Kerr Pentathlon at the Pan Am Pool on Jan. 24.

PHOTO BY TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Jaring Timmerman, 105, during his 50-metre backstroke heat during the Catherin Kerr Pentathlon at the Pan Am Pool on Jan. 24. Photo Store Photo Store

The Sochi Olympics are about to take place, which provides us with an opportunity to reflect on amateur sports and active living. Sports glory can come to anyone at any age.

There is no better example of that than Jaring Timmerman. This Kirkfield Park resident broke the world’s fastest swimming record in the 50-metre free style and the 50-metre backstroke event. What is truly remarkable is Mr. Timmerman has done this at the ripe old age of 105. That’s right, 105 years old. Not only does Mr. Timmerman represent active living, he is also a living oracle of the 20th century. Born in 1909 in the Netherlands, Mr. Timmerman has outlived empires, countries, terrible wars, the depression and the rise and fall of communism.

I’ve met Mr. Timmerman on a number of occasions. I am struck by how sharp he is and how interesting he is to talk to. Like many seniors in our community, he is able to share with those who are younger, eyewitness accounts of humanity in a manner that very few of us can even contemplate. Mr. Timmerman’s swimming success is far and wide, having won 160 medals over the last two decades.

Mr. Timmerman was born at a time when almost everything we take for granted was not available, from electricity to our personal safety and health. Thank you, Mr. Timmerman, for reminding us all of life’s potential. 

On the other side of the age spectrum we need to give a big shout-out to Deer Lodge’s junior curling team for winning Junior Nationals at last week’s bonspiel.

Congratulations to Braden Calvert, Kyle Kurz, Lucas Van Den Bosch, and Brendan Wilson. It looks like the world champion Charleswood rink lead by Jeff Stoughton may have some friendly world-class competition just down the street. This may be good for those of us who go the rink and watch curling in the neighborhood. I venture to say that the highest quality curling occurs in Manitoba and specifically in Charleswood and St. James. Jennifer Jones in St. Boniface is an exception.
     
With all the exceptional athletes in our area, I wish to share with you some other names of people in our community who have recently performed outstanding athletic achievements.

Kendra Garagan is a Charleswood resident who attends the U of M and recently received a scholarship from Manitoba Foundation for Sports, for her hard work and dedication to swimming.

Caitlin MacDonald is a Charleswood resident and hockey player who recently won a gold medal at the most important international multi-sport event after the Olympic games (she’s a defenceman who played for Team Canada at the 26th Winter Universiade games in Italy).

Brendan Kesterke: this 13-year-old Headingley resident and golfer will be competing in the U.S. this winter, has a four handicap and averages 75 per round.

Another Tiger Woods, without the drama?

Then there is Mark and Michael Stone, brothers who have both made it to the NHL (Mark was drafted in 2010, Michael in 2008).

Janine Hanson is a rower from Charleswood and won the silver medal in the 2012 Olympics in the women’s eight, with two more silvers in the same event at the World Cup.
  
Indeed we have an athletic community and we are blessed with the fields, equipment, swimming pools, tracks, curling and hockey rinks that allow anyone who wishes, to reach their full potential as an athlete or as a human being.

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