Betty Brussel's set world records in the 400-meter freestyle, 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter backstroke
99-year-old Betty Brussel is celebrating setting three world records on a single day!
On Saturday, the Canadian set best-ever times for the 100-to-104-year-old age group in the 400-meter freestyle, 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter backstroke, according to The Globe & Mail,
This included smashing the previous 400-meter freestyle record by almost four minutes, with a time of 12 minutes 50 seconds, and completing the 50-meter backstroke in 1:20.42, breaking the existing mark by over five seconds, per Swimming Canada.
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"When I’m racing, I don’t think about anything. Nothing,” Brussel — who turns 100 in July — told The Guardian. "I just count the laps, so that I know how many I have left.”
“I always try to find a pace that I can sustain – you’re asking a lot from your body in these races,” she added. “And on the last lap, well, I give it everything I have.”
According to the Globe & Mail, Brussell grew up in the Netherlands and is the second out of 12 children. As a teen she held the responsibility of looking after her younger siblings during World War II and at the age of 14 her parents took her out of school.
In 1959, the world record holder moved to Canada with her late husband, where they raised their three children in British Columbia. She then worked as a cleaner before becoming a seamstress and retiring in 1982.
“I don’t even think about the records,” Brussel told The Guardian. “I just swim. I just do the best I can. And if it’s a record fine. If I win, I’m happy to win. But if I have a good time, I’m happier.”
Speaking about her age, she added, “Sometimes I feel old. My youngest, who’s 70, said ‘Mom, you are old!’ But I don’t really feel old – only when I’m really tired. But for the rest of the time, I don’t feel old.”
Brussel explained that she gets "confidence from the water," and she's able to "forget all my worries."
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