Swimmer Spotlight: Rupert Fixott

Rupert Fixott

Rupert Fixott

He’s a FINA 95!  Ruper Fixott hasn’t swum in meets for a year or two, but when I reminded him that he was aging up this year, and could actually compete in the M95-99 age group now (before his November 1st birthday, in meters meets), he replied “I better up my game and get back in the pool more than once a week!”  Though Rupert learned to swim close to 85 years ago, he didn’t compete until he was 75.  “I was swimming at 24-hour Fitness, and some of the swimmers there were going to compete in a meet, and I thought I would just give it a try”.  Since he started competing in Masters Swimming 20 years ago, he has achieved 67 USMS Top Ten times including four #1 USMS times in breaststroke and freestyle events.  He is the current state record holder for M85-89 and M90-94 in several courses of the 100 breaststroke, as well as the SCM 50 breaststroke – M90-94.  He is truly a prime example that it’s never too late to enjoy Masters Swimming!

Willee Broberg, who was coaching Rupert at 24-hour Fitness about 10 years ago recalls Rupert’s spunk and good nature.  “Rupert was always a leader and inspiration to his lane and frequently encouraged and supported ‘non swimmers’ to practice and compete.  During one particularly challenging IM workout, about two-thirds the way through, Rupert came into the wall and hopped out.  Yes, he literally hopped!  He went to the bathroom, returned and began completing the rest of the set.  When I asked if he were ok he said ‘oh yeah, just lost my breakfast, but I am ready to go’.  I was honored and a better coach to have worked with him.  A truly inspirational man,” Willee added.

A Masters Swim memory that sticks out in Rupert’s mind took place in October, 2011, when he was a member of an Oregon relay that set a World Record for M320-360 — 400 SCM freestyle.  The other members included Wink Lamb, Robert Smith and the late Milton Marks.

Rupert, who lives in Tigard, OR, is a retired dentist.  He was born in Portland and graduated from Grant High School.  He studied pre-med at Oregon State College (OSC) with the class of 1943, but due to World War II didn’t graduate until several years later.  In 1943 he enlisted in the Navy and served as a Corpsman during World War II.  He began as a pharmacist’s mate at Pearl Harbor in the fall of 1943 before serving the remaining 3 years in the hospital corps.  After the War he went back to college and got a degree from the University of California at Berkeley and OSC.  He decided to go into dentistry, and went to the University of Oregon Dental School.  He graduated in 1951.  He also served in the military as a dentist during the Korean War in the early 1950s.

He was an avid bicyclist, having completed Cycle Oregon six times – five times as a participant and once as a volunteer.  He says he owes his health to the fact he had two wonderful wives.  He was married to Ann for 33 years, before she passed away, and then married Margie, who he was married to for 24 years before she passed away.  He has a daughter and son, two grandchildren and one great grandchild.  He currently enjoys singing barbershop harmony with the Tualatin Valley Harmonizers.  In September, 2015, he was escorted with about 100 other veterans on an Honor Flight for WWII veterans to Washington D.C.  Last year he also joined 100 Lions from Oregon and Canada to help distribute more than 5000 pairs of glasses to needy people living near Sacatea, Mexico.  In his spare time he enjoys the company of a lady friend, Jean who lives in West Linn.  Her late husband was also a dentist and they met on a blind date.

Rupert is an absolute delight and inspiration; certainly a 94-year-old who is young at heart!

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