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Having Another Go At It Before I Get Too Old


Neil Harvey

After a two-year break from swimming, 25-year-old Lisa Blackburn has returned to the national finals. "I took two years off to finish degrees in Human Kinetics and Education at the University of Ottawa. I was coaching at Nepean Swim Club and thought I was missing something, so here I am. Plus I wanted to have another go of it before I got too old."

Lisa Blackburn
For larger 64k photo click on image. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Lisa grew up in Ottawa and rose to the national level in Gloucester under the tough Russian coach Eduard Levites. Her 1990 best time of 1.11.75 in the 100 breaststroke is 12th on the all-time Canadian rankings. Here in Edmonton Lisa swam an impressive 1.12.53 to finish 4th in the final. She also swam a lifetime best in the 200 by over 2 seconds, finishing 5th in 2.37.27. "I learned to enjoy myself this year, to have fun and not get too over focussed. I am really happy with those swims." Age may be a function of what you expect instead of what others may say. For years there has been an unspoken rule of an upper age limit to high performance. Lately that just isn't so.

About being the 'old woman' on her club team she said, " I get teased a lot by the younger kids but I really enjoy being there. When I quit I thought I was getting too old and needed a break or a change. Now that I'm back I don't have any clear goals yet, I just want to check it all out again and get back into things." Lisa plans to stay in Ottawa coaching at Nepean and supply teaching throughout the year. Watchout teenagers, the twentysomethings are back!

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