Senior Snags Gold

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Ed Lassins has made good use of his last year of swimming competition in the 80-84-years-old age bracket.

At the Grand Canyon State Games held on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Lassins raced to gold medals in both the freestyle and backstroke competition.

"Next year I'll have to move up an age bracket," the 84-year-old Rim country swimmer said.

Winning the Grand Canyon gold was nothing new for Lassins. Before moving to Payson two years ago he lived in Southern California and was a starring member of the San Diego Masters swim team.

"We ranked second in the world in the medley relay," he said.

On the relay foursome, he swam the backstroke leg.

"That's my specialty," he said. "But I can do most of them pretty good."Raised in Long Island, NY, Lassins attended Jamaica High School where his interest in swimming has it roots.

After graduation in 1937, he attended the Merchant Marine Academy and graduated in 1943.

During World War II he was a cargo officer in the United States Navy and was involved in several South Pacific battles, including Okinawa and Guam.

After the war, he took up work as a pharmaceutical representative and also in an employment agency.

Throughout the years he's maintained his interest in swimming and has been known to practice in about any facility available.

"In San Diego, I went to the Double Tree Hotel pool," Lassins said.

In Payson, he works out at Taylor Pool during open swim hours.

The only obstacle that has slowed his pursuit of swimming excellence was a recent injury.

"I had a broken foot. It kept me out for about two weeks," he said.

Lassins says he's not sure what his next competition will be, but if an aquatic challenge pops up, he'll be there to greet it.

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