Randy Russell is no stranger to swimming.
Growing up, Russell participated in swim teams all the way through college where he attended the University of Georgia and swam under Jack Bauerle, who has been the U.S. Olympic Team head coach.
Russell achieved many accolades in his swimming days, including 26 state championships in Georgia and state records in five different events. He also served as the president of the Chattanooga Area Swim League (CASL) in 2015, and all of his children swam for the Dalton Dolphins.
After not swimming competitively for almost 40 years, Russell won a three-month Bradley Wellness Center membership at the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation Golf Classic in April of 2018 and decided to start training again. After a friend told him about the Senior Olympics, he did some research and thought he could contend with the current top swimmers. He swims five days a week between 2,000 and 3,000 meters in each practice.
At his first competition at the Chattanooga District Senior Olympics (Age 55-59 category), he won five gold medals. He also met the qualifying standards for the National Senior Olympics which will be held in June of 2019 in Albuquerque, N.M.
“I believe having a goal to enter a competition gave me a reason to train harder in my workouts,” he said.
In addition to the benefits of winning, Russell has lost about 10 pounds and improved his blood pressure. He is a type 1 diabetic and wears an insulin pump.
“By getting in better shape by swimming, he has been able to keep his blood sugar levels under control and expects that training hard for nationals over the next seven months will put him in the best shape of his life,” said Megan Stockburger, program supervisor. “We are so proud of Randy and wish him the very best of luck at his future competitions!”