Multiple generations enjoy Show-Me State Games swimming events

Sunday, June 12, 2011 | 5:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Chris Lorson, 42, had more on the line besides finishing in the 100-meter breaststroke competition at the Show-Me State Games on Sunday.

He and his son, Zachary Lorson, 11, had bet $5 that they would beat each other in the event.

Was Chris Lorson worried?

"Of course," he said with a laugh.

Chris Lorson, from Columbia, has swam with his sons, Zachary and Oakley Lorson, 8, at the Show-Me State Games for three years. Chris Lorson said there is not much competition between one another, but they still have a lot of fun.

"They can see their old dad compete and do well," Chris Lorson said about swimming in the same meet as his kids. "That's what's cool about swimming."

Joanne Macher, commissioner of swimming events at the Show-Me State Games, also thinks that the cool thing about swimming is that people of all ages can compete.

"Swimming is a life sport, and that's what sets it apart from other sports," Macher said. "It's not a land-based sport, so gravity is not an issue."

The swimming events on Saturday and Sunday included competitors ranging in age from 5 to 87 years old. Macher said older athletes who may have health issues can find an advantage in the water.

"They're in a weightless environment," Macher said. "It gives them a freedom they don't have otherwise."

Besides inviting athletes of all ages to compete, Macher said swimming teaches life lessons.

"It teaches a good work ethic, values and the courage to finish the last stroke," Macher said. "This sport gives that opportunity to grow."

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