Former Olympia Mayor Bob Jacobs, who took home a gold medal in swimming Sunday, was one of several men and women competing in the Washington State Senior Games.
The games, now in their 19th year, began July 7 and end the first weekend in August. Most activities take place in Thurston County.
Approximately 40 suited up for the swimming competition at the Briggs YMCA in Olympia, participating in several kinds of races over several distances.
Jacobs, 73, a lifelong swimmer who also has regularly taken part in the senior games, won the mixed 100-yard butterfly for his age group with a time of 1:28:52, beating his seeded time by about 10 seconds.
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Jacobs, who grew up in Pennsylvania, took to swimming at age 11 by swimming at his local YMCA, he said. He swam competitively in high school and at Columbia University, and he continues to swim several times a week, he said.
He praised the sport for its “whole body” exercise. Unlike jogging on pavement, which might leave your muscles feeling tight and sore, you leave the pool feeling relaxed and stretched out, Jacobs said.
“You just feel really good,” he said.
Also competing Sunday were Dan and Mary Underbrink of Kirkland.
After spending 31 years away from the swimming pool, Dan Underbrink, 58, vowed to start swimming again as a way to honor his brother who died in 2009. His brother was an active swimmer, so Underbrink got himself in shape and later took part in the national senior games in Houston in 2011. This year the national senior games were held in Minneapolis.
Once Dan took up swimming again, so, too, did Mary, 56.
Mary on Sunday swam the 100-yard freestyle in 1:18:61 — a personal best, she said.
She credited swimming with giving her the strength to keep up with her grandchildren, as well as the stamina needed to work a 12-hour shift as a trauma nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Gene Stanley, 88, of Aberdeen, who shared a few thoughts after completing a 25-yard breast stroke, said he likes the competition and the upbeat atmosphere of the games.
“There is satisfaction in being able to do this,” he said.