Winnipeg’s Jaring Timmerman, swimming world record holder, dies at 105


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Winnipeg centenarian and swimming world record holder Jaring Timmerman has died at age 105.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/11/2014 (3011 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


Winnipeg centenarian and swimming world record holder Jaring Timmerman has died at age 105.

Timmerman died early Wednesday at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg.

“What an amazing man,” his daughter, Donna Klassen, said.

Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press Jaring Timmerman, prepping for a swim competition.

“He thrilled many people and his family. We will miss him greatly, but we have wonderful memories.”

Earlier this year Timmerman, just a few weeks shy of his 105th birthday, set Masters World Records in both the 50-metre freestyle and 50-metre backstroke events. The times were 2:52.48 and 3:09.55 respectively.

Klassen said her dad’s record quest in January was his final time in a pool.

“He felt he pushed his heart so hard he might have overdid it,” she said.

“But he was so disciplined. He would count his strokes and say that it should have taken him 27 strokes, but he did it in 26 so he bumped his head.”

Swim Manitoba executive director Mark Fellner was saddened to hear of Timmerman’s passing.

“I was just shaking his hand three months ago when I was on deck for the presentation of his two certificate papers,” Fellner said.

“What struck me was young swimmers got out their pens and had him sign their T-shirts. 12- and 13-year-old kids were going to an aquatic in his hundreds. That’s inspiring.

“He inspired generations to come.”

Timmerman didn’t begin swimming competitively until he was 78 and a snowbird in Tucson, Ariz., but after winning the gold in the 200-metres category he didn’t stop.

“I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance… they were all ex-college champions,” he told the Free Press in January.

“Lo and behold, if I didn’t get gold.”

Timmerman went on to swim to four world records in the 100-104 age group, along with 23 national records, with seven of them in the 85-89 group, four in the 90-94, eight in 95-99, and four in 100-104.

Bob Groff, a Masters swimmer himself and director of Master Swimming Canada, said Timmerman will be missed.

“He was a great model for swimmers,” Groff said.

“He kept in good shape. We would rearrange our meet schedules to meet his requirements.”

Earlier in life, Timmerman was president and general manager of Grain Insurance & Guarantee, now the Wynward Insurance Group.

Besides Timmerman’s daughter, he is survived by two sons. He was predeceased by his first wife of 46 years, Bessie, and his second wife Gladys of 29 years.

Timmerman’s funeral will be on Monday at the Grace Community Church, 280 Caron Rd., followed by interment at Chapel Lawn.

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.


Updated on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 5:46 PM CST: Write-thru

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