Official website of 16th FINA World Masters Championships 2015 in Kazan

Masters athlete Jean Howard-Jones: I underwent heart transplant surgery and have been swimming for 13 years since then

12.08.2015, 17:45 Interviews
Sometimes sport helps to overcome difficulties in our life. For example, silver medallist in the women’s 200m freestyle, Jean Howard-Jones of Great Britain, came into sport in order to recover from heart transplant surgery.

The athlete spoke to a reporter of the Kazan 2015 OC’s Press Office and explained why people should never stop doing sports.

– Is this your first Masters tournament?

– No, I’ve already participated in such competitions. My first Masters tournament was 10-12 years ago.

– Could you please tell us about your sports career?

– When I was very young, I participated in different competitions. Then I underwent heart transplant surgery. I was not allowed to do sports for some time. And after a long break, at the age of 59, I started swimming again. Since then I’ve been swimming for 13 years. Then I started to take part in different competitions. Everything is incredibly great here. Excellent swimming pools, people around are very kind and sweet.

– Is there any time or age when one should stop doing sports?

– No, there isn’t. I enjoy my every swim. We can start swimming less, but we should never stop doing it.

– Does it mean that you will take part in other Masters tournaments?

– Yes, I enjoy doing it. And I will keep doing it as long as I enjoy it.

– What is the secret of your health?

– I think that swimming is one of the secrets. And I’m very happy to be here. My heart transplant… Someone literally gave me a second chance at life. And I use this chance to make the most of it. 

– Is it your first medal?

– No. I had bronze before. But I’ve never had silver before. I will compete in some other events in Kazan and I want to win gold.

– What will you wish younger athletes?

– I hope that they will never stop doing sports and will compete at the Masters tournament in the future. It’s a great opportunity to mix with like-minded people. I always enjoy meeting people from Australia, Russia, Africa and other countries. There is an incredible atmosphere here.

– How much do you train?

– Four times a week. I swim and do gymnastics.   

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