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In Their 90s, Brothers Still Going for Olympic Gold


These are the things you should know about Bradford Tatum: In the past several years, he’s turned 91, overcome a life-threatening bout with colorectal cancer and won more gold medals in the Olympics than he can count. And his biggest competitor at swim meets is his older brother John — that’s right, older brother — age 92.

For decades, the Tatum brothers have been shaming their neighbors at their local pool in Washington, D.C., and dominating their peers at the annual National Senior Games, more commonly known as the Senior Olympics. But their brush with national fame only came after their story caught the attention of a pair of 20-something filmmakers gearing up for a new documentary.

“Age of Champions” doesn’t exclusively focus on John and Bradford — they’re two characters in a hyperactive group of seniors from across the nation who have made a deliberate decision to dribble, dive and pole-vault into old age.

“But John and Brad were particularly standout inspirations,” said Keith Ochwat, the film’s producer. “They’re still creating excitement and magic for themselves. As a 29-year-old, it’s so impressive to see these men in their 90s content with their lives but constantly striving for more.”

Ochwat calls it “enviable.” John and Bradford say it’s simpler than that.

They attribute their success to blunt determination. The brothers recently sat down with health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser to discuss their first swimming lessons, their decision to wade into the Senior Games and the fitness tips they hope will keep them kicking through many more swim meets.

Watch Betty Ann’s conversation above. To see more clips from the film or to find out how to host a screening, click here.

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