World-class achievements by OMSC swimmers

World Masters Games champions OMSC
World Masters Games champions OMSC's mother-and-son team, Michael and Conny Stamhuis.
— image credit: Jeannette Hoft

Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) has once again demonstrated the talent and determination of its members with some superb performances, including mother-and-son team, Conny Stamhuis (81) and Mike Stamhuis (60) who brought medals back for several events at the Torino 2013 World Masters Games.

Conny,  a founding member of OMSC and competing in age group 80-84, won gold in the 100m and 200m backstroke, 50m breaststroke (setting a BC record at the same time) and 50m freestyle.  She also took silver in the 50m backstroke and gold with her relay team in the women's 4x50m freestyle.

Mike, competing in age group 60-64, medaled for each of his four events, including gold in the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle and 200 backstroke, as well as bronze in the 400 freestyle, setting new BC records for each event.  Mike's achievement was even more remarkable considering he had just crossed the English Channel as member of a five-person OMSC relay team, the OMSC Lake Monsters, shortly before World Masters Games.  Other OMSC members on the Channel relay team were Denise Cesselli, Leora Dahl, Phred Martin and Tracey Sutton.

Talented triathlete and swimmer Carmelle Guidi-Swan (41) broke the Canadian 100m butterfly short course record for age group 40-44 in 2012 and still holds her age group ranking as the fastest in Canada for 2013!   Speed isn't the only way to achieve recognition however. Paul Duffield (42) accomplished the coveted "Ice Man" status, becoming one of only 34 people in the world at that time to have completed a one mile (1.6 kilometre) continuous swim through waters colder than 5 degrees Celsius.  Duffield's superb achievement qualified him as Canada’s first certified ice swimmer in accordance with the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) rules. Duffield was appointed by the IISA as one of only ten Ice Swimming Ambassadors in the world to promote ice swimming and to offer assistance to any other aspiring ice swimmers.

OMSC president Brent Hobbs added, "We are incredibly proud of the individual and team based achievements of our swimmers.  That said, we should always remember that Masters swimming is open to adults of all skills levels, including recreational, fitness swimmers and champions alike.  Our mission is to promote fun, fitness, health, fellowship and participation among swimmers aged 18 and older."

He continued, "With Kelowna's H20 Adventure and Fitness Centre as our base, we have put together one of the best Masters swimming programs in Canada, with seven sessions per week and five experienced coaches. Our membership of 90 or more will attest to the fact that swimming  as part of a team makes exercise a whole lot easier and more enjoyable."

OMSC will also be hosting the 2014 BC Masters Provincial Swimming Championships in April, and expects to attract up to 300 swimmers and their families to the Okanagan. For more information on Okanagan Masters visit the OMSC website at


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