When Alan Cameron underwent his second quadruple bypass heart surgery, winning a gold medal wasn’t on the swimmer’s mind.
“The doctor told me I’d never compete again,” Mr Cameron said.
Fast-forward more than two years and the Tura Beach resident probably has more concerns with his neck supporting nine fresh medals than his heart.
Mr Cameron, 80, won two gold, five silver and two bronze medals at the Australian Masters Games in Tasmania last month in the 80 to 84 category.
His greatest triumph was his gold medal in the blue ribbon 100m freestyle event, which he won by 0.11 seconds over his Mildura rival Tubby Ramsay.
“My wife Gillian went off her brain when she saw the result,” Mr Cameron said.
“She just screamed out.”
He also pipped Ramsay in the 100m medley by five seconds – the only two events his rival lost at the Games.
Leading up to the event, Mr Cameron trained for three months at the Sapphire Aquatic Centre in Pambula.
He is also part of the Bar Beach swimmers group, whose iconic yellow cap Mr Cameron sported in all nine of his races.
The club signed the cap with good wishes, before members welcomed him home at Merimbula Airport on November 2.
Mr Cameron, who started swimming when he was 40 years old in Manly, said his triumph at the Games ranked closely with his success in 1993, where he won the 50m, 100m, and 200m medley and 100m freestyle at both the NSW and Australian Masters Swimming championships.
Mr Cameron might just defend his titles at the 2019 Games in Adelaide. In the meantime, you will see him in the open water with the Bar Beach swimmers.
Alan Cameron’s medal tally at the 2017 Australian Masters Games (80 to 84 years)
- 100m freestyle
- 100m medley
- 50m freestyle
- 200m freestyle
- 200m breaststroke
- 50m backstroke
- 4x50m freestyle relay (with the Launceston Swimming Club)
- 50m breaststroke
- 100m breaststroke