93-year-old veteran swims for gold


It’s day two of the Golden Age Games. One Vietnam veteran is making a splash with the crowd, debuting in his 13th year at 93-years-old.
Over 800 athletes representing 44 states in 14 events, the 31st National Golden Age Games are bringing together old friends and making new memories. With hundreds of returnees, one veteran from California is keeping his swim legs strong at 93-years-old. Veteran Louis Bestenheider said, “The way I look at it is I don’t care if I have 50 competitors or no competitors, I’m doing it and that’s what counts.”
Bestenheider is a World War II veteran. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps just six months after Pearl Harbor and retired in 1947. Now, he’s competing in the Golden Age Games and participated in the 25 meter freestyle and the 50 meter freestyle and backstroke.
This isn’t Louis’ first rodeo. He’s been competing in the Golden Age Games since 2004 and won his first gold medal in swimming in 2007.”I’ve gotten golden medals in everything in swimming. My claim to fame there is they used to have a hundred yards, which they’ve discontinued, but they had a hundred yards and we were in Virginia, did the hundred yards, got the gold. I’ve gotten the gold in the 50 and 25 each year.”
Crowds cheering for Louis as he finishes his last race, but he says it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about bonding with fellow veterans. “It’s fun to do. It’s the participation. I do my best in no matter what it is. Win, lose, or draw, it’s nice to be here.”