Defying age at the Pan Pacific Masters Games
Stealing the show among the thousands of competitors at the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Games was the remarkable figure of indoor rowing competitor, 93-year-old Vince Home of Australia.
More than 160 indoor rowers took part in the Pan Pacific Masters Games. The massive biennial event offers 40 sports and attracts more than 15,500 athletes to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Home was the oldest competitor.
Rowers from many age categories participated, including Home who raced in both the 500m and the 2000m event. Home has been a regular competitor at the Pan Pacific Masters Games, having competed at every edition since 2014. He became an indoor rowing enthusiast eight years ago when his failing eyesight meant that he didn’t feel that he could walk safely. Since then Home has logged millions of metres on the ergometer.
In an interview with ABC news he said, “Makes you feel a lot better to do your row and finish feeling good — makes you want to do it the next day.”
Home participates together with his wife Beryl. The couple married for 68 years ago and sport has been at the core of their marriage – they first met on the tennis court. Vince struggles to see the monitor and hear the starting commands, so Beryl coxes him through the races, signalling when he should start and stop.
Beryl is also a successful competitor herself at age 87, having won the 500m race in her age group.
“Another stand out to me is Ken Stephens who is 85,” says organiser Laura Rathgeber. “Ken broke two Australian records (provisional until officially confirmed with Concept2) and was the happiest most cheerful competitor I have ever come across. He had a smile from ear to ear and greeted every single participant. He was an absolute joy to be around and a true asset to our event.”
The Pan Pacific Masters Games is part of the increasing trend in masters events held worldwide. The first Masters Games was held in Canada in 1985. It attracted more than 8,000 competitors from 61 countries. Ever since, there has been an increase masters events. The first Pan Pacific Masters Games was held in 1998. It is now be held biennially in early November on the Gold Coast, Australia.
For more information about the event, click here.
For full results from the 2018 event, click here.