This New West senior is downright inspiring

95-year-old swimmer shatters world record

Betty Brussel is in a class by herself.

Not literally, but the New Westminster swimmer has achieved something that few could even dream of.

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At the age of 95, the senior swimmer has shattered the world record for women 95-99 with a fast swim in the 50-metre breaststroke, set last week in Chilliwack.

Brussel carved six seconds off the previous best world mark at a meet in Chilliwack, swimming with her White Rock Wave masters swim team.

“She just loves to compete,” remarked Waves coach Carole Gair. “She’s fit as a fiddle, takes no meds and swims three times a week at the Canada Games pool.”

Although she just joined the club last year, Brussel has made strong headway in knocking her times down in her events, said Gair.

Previously, the New West senior just swam on her own.

Gair said there are only three other women in the 95-99 division in Canada.

A mother of five, Brussel didn’t have time to take up competitive swimming when she was younger, said the coach.

“Apparently, she was second oldest of 12 kids, so she had to help look after someone growing up,” said Gair.

The nonagenarian has her own routine when preparing for a competition.

“When she goes to a meet she comes in with a bag full of food,” said Gair. “It’s always more than she needs, and if someone offers her some food she’s always saying ‘No thanks.’”

This was her third meet since joining the Waves, and each meet has seen her set at least four Canadian records.

“She’s just incredible. These records are huge,” added Gair. “When I first met (Brussel) she told me the records didn’t mean much to her, ‘I love to swim.’ Now she looks at the records and says, ‘I can beat those.’”

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