Mieko Nagaoka

Date of birth: 31 July 1914
Age as of 27 August 2019: 105 years, 27 days

Mieko Nagaoka is a Japanese Masters athlete. She is first 100-year-old to complete a 1,500m freestyle swim in a 25m pool. At the age of 104 she is Japan's oldest active swimmer. She first started swimming at 80 years old to recover from a knee injury. In the beginning, Nagaoka didn’t know how to swim. She used to go into the swimming pool to do exercises for her knee. At 82, she started to learn how to swim on her own. At 88, she made her first appearance at the Masters Worlds in 2002 in Christchurch, New Zealand and took the bronze in the 50m backstroke. She achieved national recognition in Japan at age 90 when she established a world record in the 800m freestyle. She currently holds 24 World Records. In 2015 she became the first 100-year-old to complete a 1,500m freestyle swim in a 25m pool. Nagaoka trains four times a week for two hours under the tutelage of long-time coach Shintaro Sawada. She likes to swim longer distances because she swims slowly and is able to keep her own pace. Nagaoka currently lives alone in Tabuse, Yamaguchi, Japan. In Nagaoka’s family, swimming transcends every generation, from her son to grandchildren, and she encourages other swimmers to keep swimming as long as possible. After turning 100 in July 2014, she released a book entitled: I'm 100 years old and the world's best active swimmer.
Country: Japan