Helena Area News

Dec 31, 2012 11:12 AM by Lindsey Gordon - MTN News

90-year-old swims for charity in Helena

HELENA - If you're looking for a little inspiration to kick off your fitness goals for 2013, look no further than a swimmer who holds a world record and is still making waves in the pool at 90 years old.

She grew up playing in the freezing waters of Lake Michigan, but Charlotte Sanddal didn't start swimming long distance until 1944, when she was in the Navy. She remembers how she was first imprinted by swimming at a young age.

"Playing in the pool and I saw this man, this gray-haired man, swimming back and forth, back and forth, and that made an impression on me," said Sanddal.

She swims just about every day to prepare for events and on Sunday morning, she completed a one-mile swim at Capital City Health Club to benefit "Friends of Centennial Trail."

"It's for a good cause, and a way to kick off the New Year. She is just my dearest friend and inspiration," said Peggy Stinger, a master coach at CCHC.

Sanddal has a world record in her age group, 90 to 94, in the 50-meter butterfly, as well as two national records; one for the 100-meter breast stroke and 200-meter breast stroke.

She is going to compete next summer at the 2013 World Masters in Torino, Italy and offers some words of encouragement for the rest of us.

"Believe me, anyone can do it," she continues,"I get my inspiration from people who say that I am their inspiration. If I at 90 can inspire someone,‘Well, if she can do it, maybe I can, too.' So, I like hearing that. Keeps me going."


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