Congratulations to Jane Katz, EdD, Delaware Senior Olympics participant, aquatic fitness pioneer and swimming champion across six decades of worldwide competitions! Dr. Katz recently won six medals at the biennial National Senior Games in Minneapolis. The games, for men and women 50 and over, is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors. More than 12,000 athletes competed across 19 different sports from July 3-16.
Dr. Katz won five swimming gold medals and one silver. Her five golds came in the 50, 100 and 200-yard backstroke, and the 200 and 500-yard freestyle. She also captured a silver in the 100-yard freestyle.
Dr. Katz has taught aquatic fitness and safety at the City University of New York since 1964 and at John Jay College since 1989. She is the author of 14 books on swimming, fitness and water exercise, some of which are translated into four different languages. Her books, including Swimming for Total Fitness (Random House), first published in 1981, are in more than 1,200 libraries around the world.
Dr. Katz developed two notable swimming programs in New York City: The Kids Aquatic Re-Entry (KARE) program, and W.E.T.s for VETS. In the KARE program, Dr, Katz worked with the New York Department of Juvenile Justice to help troubled youths learn life’s lessons poolside. In W.E.T.s for VETS, she conducts aquatic workouts for college students who are U.S. military veterans as a means of helping them relieve stress and be physically, mentally and spiritually fit.
Dr. Katz’s Olympic career began with the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo where she was a member of the synchronized swimming performance team. In 2000, she received the Certificate of Merit award from the International Olympic Committee for her “dedication and contribution to the development” of swimming, and in 2014 was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
“It was so gratifying to see the U.S. Women’s soccer team win the World Cup this year because I can remember back to the days when I had to face all kinds of obstacles as a woman in sports,” Dr. Katz said. “Women didn’t have nearly as many opportunities in sports as they do today, and it’s great to see. I had very few chances to compete when I was younger, but today, with events like the National Senior Games, even we seniors can strut our stuff!”
The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) is a nonprofit member of the United States Olympic Committee that promotes health and wellness for adults 50 and over through education, fitness and sport. For more information on how YOU can get in the game, visit www.DelawareSeniorOlympics.org or call 302-736-5698.