Margot relights cauldron
CATHY Freeman did it nine years ago.
Now former Hervey Bay resident Margot Bates has.
The 99-year-old swimmer helped re-light the Sydney 2000 Olympic cauldron as part of the opening ceremony for the World Masters Games on Friday.
Bates, who now calls Adelaide home, was a member of the Hervey Bay Humpbacks Masters Swimming Club for 10 years while she lived here.
She will swim in five individual events during the week-long Games - the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and the 50m and 100m backstroke.
She will also form part of a relay team of 90-year-plus New Zealanders called the Recycled Teenagers.
Since taking up her sport at aged 86, Bates has won an impressive 187 gold medals and is aiming to reach 200.
One of her former club-mates at the Humpbacks, Darryl Higgins, said he was sure she would get to the 200 medal tally.
“I often run into Margo at carnivals throughout the country and she's still going strong I can tell you,” Higgins, the vice-president of the club, said.
“Her times are just about the same as they were 10 years ago so you could say that she's showing no signs of slowing down.”
More than 28,000 competitors from 95 countries will contest these Games making them the biggest ever in its seven years.