Coming back from a ski accident didn’t slow down Vernon swimmer Dave Poggemiller.
A slight miscalculation, however, nearly cost him one of his four gold medals.
Poggemiller, 69, competing against the younger guys in the men’s 65-69 age category won four individual and a team gold in a relay event at the 2022 Canada 55+ Games in August in Kamloops.
The event was delayed a couple of years because of COVID-19.
Poggemiller won gold in the 50-metre butterfly in 49.77 seconds, captured the 100m Individual Medley (where athlete swims backstroke, fly, breaststroke and freestyle) in one minute 38.13 seconds, finished first in the 50m back in 44.56 seconds, and avoided disaster in the 100m back, which he won in 1:37.92.
“I was coming into the wall and you look at the flags above you, count your stroke and make your turn,” said Poggemiller, who broke an ankle ski instructing in the winter of 2022. “I ended up making the turn but I was closer than I thought and I cracked my heel open on top of the pool.”
All swimmers were allowed to enter a maximum of four individual events and one relay. In the relays, swimmers were mixed into eight teams from all the provinces as a show of camaraderie among competitors, and to cheer for each other.
“Our team had a husband and wife from Alberta, myself from B.C., and a gal from the Yukon,” said Poggemiller. “We ended up winning the relay by 7/100ths of a second. The relay was for camaraderie between swimmers of all provinces to swim together and cheer for each other.
“I thought it was a great idea and all the swimmers created a bond that was seen at the awards ceremony, well done. What an exciting finish to the meet. Great fun.”
This story was updated Wednesday, Sept. 14, to correct the amount of medals Poggemiller won, and to correct information about his injury and the relay. We apologize for the errors.