WE WAIT FOR YOU IN ROME FRANCISCO DOMÍNGUEZ FERNÁNDEZ

Can you learn to swim at the age of 70? Certainly yes, but it is one thing to learn to swim and acquire aquatic skills, another to swim hundreds of meters every day in the pool or at the beach. For Francisco Dominguez Fernandez, known as Paco, there is only one answer: swim 1200 meters every day.

Born in Vigo in 1927, Paco traveled the world with his job as a railroader and during a trip to America he made a choice that changed his life: "I was in Venezuela and I was swimming in the sea near the shore, I always wanted to swim offshore but I was held back by fear, so I asked a friend of mine to teach me some styles - an ambitious choice for a 69-year-old who could barely float - "We carried out some breathing lessons and he taught me the rhythm of the stroke; I immediately became passionate about swimming."

Today Paco is a masters athlete with CN Masters Madrid and holds the record in the +95 category in all distances, from 50 to 800 style and is very proud to bring success and records to his club. He is often the only one in his category but it's not that important: "I'm the only one who competes but I love to share the races with other younger swimmers. My goal is simply to have fun as much as possible, medals and records are not my priorities" - he adds - "I have an iron health thanks to the benefits of swimming and Yoga, I follow a balanced and healthy diet and swimming has changed my life". At the threshold of 95 years Paco, by now a legend among Spanish masters, still has many ambitions in swimming and does not want to stop: "I want to learn the butterfly. If this is his spirit, he will surely succeed.

All the masters of Rome 2022 are warned, if Paco comes for the European masters, he will be the man to beat.

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