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Age Is Only A Number For This Local Swimmer

A Tallahassee woman swam away from the National Senior Games with a few awards.
Jack Goltz
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

By every textbook definition, Barbara Goltz is a senior citizen. But she doesn’t feel that way—and her recent accomplishments are part of the reason.

A Tallahassee woman swam away from the National Senior Games with a few awards.
Credit Jack Goltz
The Florida Channel
A Tallahassee woman swam away from the National Senior Games with a few awards.

She’s a 71 year old swimmer from the Capital City, and recently swam away from the National Senior Games with one gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

She began swimming with her husband Jack nearly 40 years ago, and won’t let her age get in the way. Swimming is their way, among others, of staying active.

“I just don’t know what it would feel like if I didn’t have swimming,” she said. “It is refreshing, it is invigorating, and it’s just a part of my life. I don’t even think about not swimming.”

Goltz said she continues to be inspired by the competitors much older than herself.

“I look at the people who are in the age groups above me and way above me,” she said. “And it’s just such an inspiration to see people still out on the pool deck, getting into the water, doing what they can do.”

“It’s so invigorating to see lots of other people just like us who are taking advantage of exercise every single day and having fun doing it.”

Goltz says she has a bit of a competitive nature.

“It’s always a great pleasure to win… As you get older it’s hard to say ‘am I doing better than last year,’ but nevertheless you want to see how well you can swim against the clock.”

The swimmer has won in the last 4 national games, but this time, it came as a surprise. In the last year and a half, Goltz has experienced a few health issues. Her right arm was injured in an automobile accident, and shortly before, she found out she had no rotator cuff in her right shoulder.  

“The combination of those two things kind of diminished my training time and training capacity, so it was really exciting to me to see how well I could do under those circumstances.”

She balances her job as the chief financial officer for Florida Housing Finance Corporation and her training.

Goltz said the games are inspirational, and hopes more seniors stay active. She is preparing for the 2019 biennial competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Copyright 2020 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

Morgan Danford