Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

Australia’s Dorothy Dickey might even be regarded as a Masters “professional”. She is among the few who has attended all but one event since the FINA Masters World Championships was first staged in 1986 in Tokyo. Only Casablanca (1998) is missing from the rank– otherwise she, together with the family and team mates, organised their trip from Down Under to wherever the big meet was held.Kazan is special of course: the first one staged together with the ‘big Worlds’ and it comes just a year after the last stand-alone edition in Montreal. But there was no doubt that Mrs. Dickey and the Doncaster Dolphins would show up. “Well, at first, when we learned the location, we said, oh nooo, aaaah, uuuuh… But it turned out to be amazing. Kazan is fantastic, yesterday we even had some shopping and it was gorgeous! The organisation is brilliant, this pool is great, though it’s a bit huge, I get lost sometimes even in these last days…”

There was one tiny little mistake in the entire championships. Well, not a serious one, but… “The only thing we’be missed that there was no mirror in the ladies’ dressing room… We have to take care of our hair and put up some make-up without a chance of a look. You know, it was a bit difficult… As we have to look nice at the victory ceremonies!

This nice lady from Australia didn’t have a swimming career to look back on. She was 54 when she took on swimming. On the advice of her daughter. Or rather on the order of her daughter…

“She was a competitive swimmer and once she left the junior age group and joined the Masters to carry on swimming, she came home one day and said, Mom, you have to join us. I said, no, no way, but she replied, Mum, we need you, we need someone in your age-group. So I started my swimming career… Two years later I went to Tokyo, and since then I go everywhere. It’s so great to be together with the others, it’s such a great experience every time…”

Mrs. Dickey has a strict training regime back home. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are the days of swimming practices, while Monday and Friday usually find her in the gym. “You have to keep yourself busy at the age of 85” she laughs. As for her performance in Kazan, she wasn’t too satisfied with her efforts in the 400m free on the closing day.

 

 

“Oh, it was awful… I couldn’t make my entry time. You know, as I’m getting older, my swim is getting slower… However, I could set a new world record in the 800m, that’s a good memory to take home.”

 

And she couldn’t wait to travel to Budapest in 2017. “Sure, I will attend” she says with a broad smile.

So here is the message to the organisers: don’t forget the mirrors!