Excelled in world police and fire games
Starting with a winning swim in the 3K (1.8 mile swim) in frigid Canadian waters, Charlie Weatherbee of Clermont, Florida captured four world swimming titles at the recent World Police/Fire Games in Calgary, Canada.
Charlie (age 64), a retired firefighter/paramedic competed in the 60+ age category in a total of 13 swimming events over a four day period, placing in the top three in every event he entered. This feat won him the distinction of winning more medals than any of 8,900 competing athletes. This seventh Olympic-style event which takes place every two years came very close to having enough entries to become the largest athletic competition in the world and it is expected that the next World Police/Fire Games in Stockholm, Sweden in 1999 will attract over 10,000 entries.
Continuing his winning streak, Weatherbee also won the 200-meter individual medley for the third consecutive World Games. He holds the record in that event at 3:23.2 which he set in Australia in 1995. Adding to his list of titles, he also won the 100-meter breaststroke and the 100-meter fly.
Narrowly missing additional world titles he placed second in the 50-meter backstroke, the 100-meter backstroke, the 50-meter breaststroke and the 50-meter fly. Competing in every swimming event available to his age group (except the 200-meter freestyle), Weatherbee rounded out his recent accomplishments by placing third in the 400-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, and the 50-meter freestyle. He also anchored on the (age 50+) 200-meter freestyle and 200-meter relays with each relay finishing third. "I figured that as long as I was going to compete. I'd enter all the events and see what happened," said Weatherbee. "Between preliminaries and finals, I ran out of gas after the first 10 events and scratched the 200 free. It worked out really well since I set a new record in the next event, the 100-meter fly."
Charlie and his wife Peggy traveled to the games by motor home and celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on the day of the games opening ceremonies. Their daughter, Colleen and grandson, Charles joined them in Calgary during the competition. "Peg and I had a fantastic vacation," said Charlie. "It was great renewing old acquaintances and making new friends at the games and we're already making plans and looking forward to the games in Stockholm in 1999."
Charles E. Weatherbee lives in Clermont, Fla., and swims for Orlando Masters Swimming. (1996)