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Local swimmer savors
Senior Olympics experience

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Riverdale resident and champion swimmer, Anne Dunivin, is looking on the bright side of her performance last month at the National Senior Games in San Francisco, Calif.

During the Olympics, Dunivin, 92, earned a silver medal in the 200-meter freestyle event, a bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle competition, and a fourth-place ribbon in the 50-meter freestyle, for the 90-94 age group.

She had entered the competition hoping to win triple gold.

But, Dunivin said she is not disappointed in her performance on the national stage. "I'm proud to say I placed in every event in which I competed," she said.

In addition to placing in her events, Dunivin pointed to another reason why she is happy with her performance this year. During the National Senior Games, she posted faster times in the 50-meter, and 100-meter freestyle events than she did at last year's Georgia Golden Games. During the 2008 Georgia Golden Games, she won gold medals in both events, as well as in the 200-meter freestyle.

Her 50-meter freestyle time during this year's national competition, was a 12.49-second improvement over her performance in the event at the Georgia games.

Her time in the 100-meter freestyle this year was a 7.05-second improvement from last year's gold medal-winning performance at the state competition.

Dunivin's time in the 200-meter freestyle, this year, also was an improvement over her previous performance at the 2007 National Senior Games in Louisville.

"I wasn't just competing against the other swimmers, I was competing against myself, and I think I did a pretty good job," she said. "I bettered my times."

With the national games behind her, competitive swimming will have to take a back seat to Dunivin's family, for at least the next year.

Dunivin, who is Georgia's current gold medal champion in her division in the 50-, 100-, and 200-meter freestyle events, said last week she has no plans to defend her medals later this month at the 2009 Georgia Golden Games.

Her son, Jim, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer, and she plans to focus on supporting him right now, by going to treatment sessions with him.

"I hate to miss the state games, but I was concerned about my son," Dunivin said.

She said she'll continue to swim twice a week, however. Swimming, even competitively, is not yet out of her system.

"I've had fun with swimming, and I will continue to swim and compete as long as I am able," she said. "It would suit me to die in the swimming pool."

Dunivin said she plans to participate in next year's Georgia Golden Games, though. National Senior Games rules require a person to be a state champion in an event to qualify for the national competition, she said.

The National Senior Games are held every other year, and the 2011 games are scheduled to be held in Houston, Texas, she added.

"If I am able, I would like to compete [nationally] at the age of 94," she said.