Celebrate the Induction of 97-Year-Old Maurine Kornfeld Into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame

maurine-kornfeld
Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Maurine Kornfeld made her Masters debut in her 80’s and set her first Masters world record when she was 90 (SC 800 free, 18:38.69). Swimming at Masters meets was just another opportunity to be in the water. Win or lose, she was happy to swim and never seemed to know her swim times. Despite this handicap, she set 27 world records.

Currently at 97 years old, Maurine has been competing for 31 years and has been in the Top Ten 27 times. She has set seven long course and 20 short course FINA Masters World Records in the I.M., freestyle and backstroke. In world rankings since 1997, she has a total of 89-number 1, 36-number 2 and 28-number 3 world rankings in the freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and I.M.  She has competed in four FINA World Championships in Montreal, Riccione, Budapest and Stanford, winning 14 gold and four silver medals.

Maurine Kornfeld says Master swimming has become a major part of her life.  And what a life she has!!!

“Four mornings a week before dawn’s early light.  I tackle two freeways and drive to the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center for a Masters team workout.  I must confess to being frequently tardy, which I attribute to traffic, not my indolence.  It’s such fun swimming with my teammates who are remarkably tolerant of my snail pace and who literally swim circles around me.  After our coach Chad Durieux, announces ‘THE END’, a group of us hang out in the hot tub as a further ‘cool down’ and settle the problems of the world. 

“Once I’m dry behind my ears, I go off for another major activity:  that of being a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and also, being a docent and giving tours at the historic Los Angeles Union Station,” said Kornfeld.

Maurine’s secret lies in survival: “If you can’t outswim them, outlive them!”