Young at heart, Fred Schulhoh of Zone 4 is the oldest competitor registered for the swimming event of the B.C. Senior Games to be held at the Trail Aquatic Centre, August 18 – 20.
In his soft lilt of his mixed-European accent, Fred relates that he was born in 1919, and moved to Ireland as a refugee from war-torn Europe in the 1930s. He attended the University College of Dublin, graduating as a Chemical Engineer.
Although he learned to swim as a toddler in the pools in Innsbruck, Austria, his competitive career began with the college team. He also swam at a National level in Ireland, winning both silver and bronze medals in breaststroke.In 1958, Fred emigrated once more, this time bringing his family to Vancouver.
He worked first for B.C. Hydro and finally for the consulting firm, Sandwell, for 22 years. During this time, Fred swam only for pleasure. It was not until the Senior Games in the year 2000, when a friend invited him to watch the Games, that Fred decided to resume his competitive career – at only 81 years of age.
Fred competes in the freestyle and breaststroke events, as well as helping his Zone 4 team in the relay events. Although he has little competition in his age group, he races with much younger competitors as his times are comparable!
Despite his years, Fred has the physic of an athlete – abs at 92. He also radiates the appearance of a contented gentleman, his wedding ring of 64 years on his left hand and his iron ring denoting his P. Eng. designation on his right-hand pinkie finger. Maybe his life philosophy is responsible: live for each day and each day do the best you can.
Fred is an inspiration for all the “younger” senior participants – you are never too old to begin and never to old to participate.