NOEL Ryan returned to Warrnambool with more gold than Michael Phelps after the National Masters Games last weekend.
The 75-year-old swimmer won six freestyle races in the 75-to-79 age group at Geelong — the 50m, 100m and 200m relay and broke state records in the 200m, 400m and 800m events.
It’s rare for an athlete to use longevity as a strategy, but Ryan has been competing in the masters since 1989 and doesn’t see himself giving it up.
“My motto has been if you can’t beat them, outlive them,” he told The Standard.
“I was very pleased with it.
“It’s amazing the number still competing in their 80s and 90s.
“If I live that long I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be the same.
“I like to compete and test myself out.
“I can’t run marathons any more because I had a disc removed and that’s when I turned to swimming.”
The retired school teacher said the Warrnambool Masters Swimming Club had been a huge part of his social life and fitness in recent years.
“It’s just enjoyable. The company in the Warrnambool Masters Swimming Club is the best I’ve been in.
“It’s a great social place to be.
“The swimming club is a big part of our social life, for me and for my wife, Jan.
“I’d recommend it to people thinking of it.
“The master swimming club caters for people of all swimming abilities.
“I tell people swimming is for lazy people because you do it lying down.”