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lauer swimming

Octogenarian Leaves the Class Behind

David Bassett, Interim Department Head and professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies put his “Physiology of Athletes: Exploring the Limits of Human Performance” class to the test yesterday; the swimming test that is.

Bassett invited decorated 81 year-old senior swimmer and retired dean and professor of architecture, Bill Lauer, to demonstrate exactly what his class is about; the limits of human performance.  Lauer swam against seven of the students in a competition appropriately named, “Are You Fitter Than an 80-Year-Old?” along with Ed Howley, professor emeritus in Exercise Physiology and Bassett in a 200-yard freestyle event.  Lauer and one of the students used the starting blocks while others dove in from the pool deck or pushed off the wall.  Lauer took the lead immediately and easily won with a time of two minutes and forty-nine seconds.  He, of course, won the competition with Howley coming in second and Bassett third.  The closest student was one and 1/2 minutes behind Lauer, who exhibits a healthy role model for aging.

Read and enjoy the video about the competition as a fun end-of-semester activity which, even though finals were over, probably taught them more about aging than any textbook.

Photo Credit: Michael Patrick/Knoxville News Sentinel