86 year-old swimmer with MS defies expectations


Sudbury’s Derald Balson competes in swimming at a national le​vel at the age of 86.

That’s pretty impressive but consider also that he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than 40 years ago.

Swimming using only his arms, he won two gold medals last month at the Canada 55 Plus Games in Strathcona County, Alberta.

“A lady said to me once, you remind me of a seal,” Balson recalls.

“And I said, ‘Gee, they’re not very nice looking things.’ And she said, ‘Yes, but did you ever see them swim?’ I said, ‘Yes, I have.’ She said, ‘You know how their tail fin goes just like that? That’s what your legs do.'”


About Author

Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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