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Age is just a number: 75-year-old Kerala man sets swimming pools on fire winning medals

Kurian Jacob. Photo: Special Arrangement.

For many, the retirement period is all about settling into a quieter life without physical and mental exertion. But not for 75-year-old Kurian Jacob from Kerala, who rediscovered his childhood passion for swimming after retirement and has won over 24 medals in national and international events.

This former banker, who had worked in different countries in a career spanning over 40 years, is a testament to the belief that age is just a number.

Born on April 8, 1950, in Thidanad near Pala, Kerala, Kurian Jacob used to visit Thidanad river near his hometown from the age of nine months. ” From my childhood days, I enjoyed being in the water racing against the currents. But life’s responsibilities took me away from my childhood passion and I got immersed in fulfilling my different responsibilities,” Kurian Jacob said.

After his retirement in 2017, Kurian Jacob settled in Kochi, and a visit to  Thidanad river in his home town rekindled his passion for swimming. “I was always thinking about making myself engaged and when I visited the river, I felt an urge to pursue swimming all over again,” Kurian Jacob said.

He took to YouTube to watch videos of coaches providing training to swimmers and started training all by himself at the swimming pool of his apartment. His determination and relentless pursuit to chase his passion soon bore fruit. By 2021, he had won over 21 medals at the national level, a remarkable feat that gave him confidence to compete in international events.

In 2023, he represented India at the European Masters Games held in Finland, where he won three silver medals. “Retirement is not the end of life. One can make it exciting,” Jacob asserts. His next big goal is the World Masters Games, scheduled to be held in Taiwan in 2025. “My dream is to win a medal for India there,” he says with the same enthusiasm that drove him to dive into the Thidanad river all those years ago.

Kurian Jacob’s life has not only made waves in the swimming pools but also in the hearts of those who believe in the endless possibilities of life after retirement.

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