Award-Winning Swimmer Gets Better With Age

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Ed Lassins didn't need to fret about having to move up an age bracket at the Grand Canyon State Games.

Despite advancing to the 85-89-years-old bracket from the 80-84-years he participated in last year, he still duplicated his 2004 GCSG feats by winning two gold medals.

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At 85, Ed Lassins won two gold medals in the Grand Canyon State Games.

Last summer after winning the medals, Lassins said he was concerned about changing age brackets at the 2005 games.

"But I bettered my times in both events (freestyle and backstroke) from what I did last year," he said.

The swimming competition of the GCSG moved to Arrowhead Pool in Chandler from Arizona State University where it has been held in previous games.

Winning the Grand Canyon gold was nothing new for Lassins. Before moving to Payson three 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.

He swam the backstroke leg on the relay foursome.

"That's my specialty," he said. "But I can do most of them pretty good."

Lassins was raised on Long Island, where he attended Jamaica High School and got interested in swimming.

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

Today, he works out at the Tonto Apache pool.

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

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