I, an OMS member, made the journey to Gwangju, South Korea for the FINA World Masters Championships in August, 2019. This was my first time competing in a World Championship, and my first lesson was to arrive early. I definitely underestimated the effect of jet lag and of acclimating to the 91° heat with 90% humidity.
I swam in only my specialty events, the 50 meter, 100 meter, and 200 meter Breaststrokes. Although I wish I had swum faster, I medaled in two of the three events; taking 5th place in both the 100 and 200 Breaststroke events. In the 50 meter Breast stroke I took 7th place, missing a third medal by 1/100th of a second! The medals are beautiful and the award ceremony makes a person feel like an Olympian.
The ready-room was new to me, and adjusting warm up time with a 15-20 minute wait with your competitors was interesting. But it was also a time to make new friends. Fortunately for mono-lingual Americans, everyone pretty much spoke English.
I have to admit, it was pretty cool seeing my name on the big scoreboard with a US flag next to it. Overall, it was a great experience, even though I know I can swim faster.
I was a tourist for a few days in between races, and saw temples, bamboo forests, and the 1988 Olympic Pool. Next time, Oregon will need to get a group to attend. We would crush the relays! Think Fukuoka, Japan in 2021!