Article image

by Susan Ludwig

July 19, 2000

Marriage and records in 1993

Richard Kane was busy in 1993. He made the World Top Ten, placed well at Y-Nationals, was Swimmer of the Year at Coral Springs, and married his swimming partner. Richard, now 82 years old, has been a swimming competitor for 70 years, and a coach and organizer as well. He retired from his profession as a cartographer in 1972 and moved with his wife, Gladys, to Florida.

Swimming slipped into the background then as his other passion, ballroom dancing, came to the fore. Gladys became ill in 1984 and Richard spent the next five years caring for her until her death in 1989. Swimming and dancing were both neglected during Gladys's illness, but have emerged again while Richard has trained with Judy Bonning both at Mission Bay and at Coral Springs. Richard met Irmgard Janssen in 1990 because they both love and are great at ballroom dancing. Irma learns quickly, and transferring her ballroom artistry to swimming she met her first challenge when she learned she had to put her head under the water.

Moving on, she continued to progress and now regularly competes in the breaststroke and she wins points for our teams. Richard says Father Time is his competition. And he has been seen wearing a T-shirt which says... "The last one alive wins." He and Irma enjoy travelling for competition, and they have competed in Barbados, New Orleans, Santa Clara, and everyone's favorite week-end town, Indianapolis. Swimming is part of what makes life work for many of us, and Richard and Irma use it well. He made the Brute Squad at Coral Springs, swimming the 1650, the 400 IM and the 200 fly all in less than two hours.

Richard M. Kane lives in Boca Raton, Fla. and swims for Gold Coast Masters.

Originally published in the January, 1994, Florida Gold Coast LMSC Newsletter