Tom Lane broke records as one of the nation’s oldest Masters swimmers. He exercised every single day, shot golf regularly, but his favorite physical activity, and the one which won him gold medals in Masters divisions, was swimming. a former patent lawyer, Tom Lane set Masters records in the backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle in three age groups. He went on record stating that his life’s philosophy was, ‘If you can’t beat ’em, outlive ’em.’”
Tom Lane proved to younger people that old age was never an excuse to become lazy and sedentary. He went on record saying that for many people, retirement is when an active life can begin. He didn’t even allow blindness to stop him. When glaucoma robbed him of his sight at the age of 92, he began to have problems with turning at the end of laps in the pool, and would bump his head on the edge of the pool. Instead of quitting, he attached a sponge to his forehead to cushion the blow when he reached the edge..
Tom Lane died at the age of 103 from complications of pneumonia in his home in San Diego in August of 1997, but not before leaving an inspiring legacy and breaking world records in Masters swimming.