Posted by George Rooney on Aug 31, 2019
A few meetings ago, I asked John Daily when his next swim meet was. He told me Saturday, August 24. Since he swims throughout the country, I held my breath, and was pleasantly surprised that it was being held locally, in Avon. I told John I’d be there. Fortunately, I heard no objection.
The next meeting, John gave me a copy of the meet details. He told me I didn’t have to come, but I don’t listen very well.
So on the 24th, Eileen and I drove to the Avon Aquatic Facility. It was a brisk morning, with a few sprinkles. One might think that, having a fancy name like Aquatic Facility, the pool would be in nice, warm surroundings. But, alas, it was outdoors. Not so bad for me,  at least in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, but just think about the wet, nearly-naked swimmers!
And there were a lot of swimmers. This was a popular Ohio Masters Swimming event. John had entered 3 events - 50 meter freestyle; 100 meter freestyle; and, despite John’s hip surgery a few years ago, he bravely entered the 50 meter breaststroke. 
John and I went over to the meet sheet, and he located his name in the 3 events, and duly took notes of his heat numbers and lane numbers. To my surprise, the heats were not grouped by age group. Rather, they appeared random, and John was swimming with swimmers much younger. I noted a 38.
Based on John’s age on December 31 of this year, John was entered in the 93+ group. He’s actually merely 92, but has a birthday coming up. John felt that was to his advantage, since he otherwise would have been in a more crowded group of 89+! The age differential didn’t matter, though, because the swimmers were not racing against each other; rather, they raced for time in their respective age groups.
John warmed up a bit in one of the 2 free lanes while other events progressed. Now wet, it didn’t take long for the weather to take hold a bit, and John bundled up as he awaited his first event. The 50 freestyle was called, and John made his way to his lane. The starting block is probably 2 to 2-1/2 feet high, and I marveled as John climbed a step stool up onto the block, and then stood, seemingly forever, awaiting the start. The swimmers were called to their marks, the starting signal sounded, and John dove in with the others.
We have all probably noticed that John moves around relatively slowly these days; but all bets were off when he hit the water. I was amazed watching him slice through the water with a very smooth stroke. I snapped a pic as John approached the finish.
We then visited with John as he awaited his other events. The other 2 proceeded as the first, and I took a few more pics, including of one of the 3 medals John earned that day.
John thanked us for being there. He may not have realized that I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. John is such a humble human being, with immense determination, and such an inspiration for all.
I am so proud, and want to be like John, but I get tired trying to keep up. Thank you, John, for being my fellow Rotarian.