In 2015, Mieko Nagaoka became the first person 100 years or older to swim 1,500 meters in a race.
Now 103, the athlete from Japan is still training hard for her races. She may need a helping hand to get in the water, but Nagaoka, who started swimming at 82 in physical therapy, trains four days per week.
“I’m fit as a fiddle,” Nagaoka told AFP in a 2016 interview after completing the 400 metres freestyle in 26 minutes, 16.81 seconds at a Japan Masters Swimming Association competition in Chiba, on the outskirts of Tokyo. “The secret is to eat well and stay active. It’s no good sitting around at my age. I want to keep swimming until I’m 105 – and beyond that,” added the Yamaguchi native, who has lived through 22 Olympics to date.
Take a look. She’s all business in the water.
Nagaoka was born in 1914, just days following the start of World War I. She’s hard of hearing, but doing so much more than many who are half her age .
Hiroki Nagaoka, her 76-year-old son, said, “She is some woman…She still uses her brain and tries to figure out the best way to swim, she still even tries to change her swimming form to challenge for a record. I’m really proud of her.”