RACE WALK­ING HER WAY TO THE TOP

No stop­ping ‘The Great Jean Horne’

Grand Magazine - - CONTENTS - BY KELLY PE­DRO PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY CRESTINA MARTINS

When it comes to race walk­ing, Jean Horne is hard to beat. At 85, the Kitch­ener res­i­dent is the reign­ing world cham­pion in her age cat­e­gory. Horne laughs as she ad­mits the 80-plus age cat­e­gory isn’t ex­actly stacked with com­pe­ti­tion. But she’s been at the top of her game long be­fore now, train­ing with a coach and com­pet­ing in six races a year. And she doesn’t plan to stop. In Septem­ber, she will de­fend her five- and 10-kilo­me­tre gold medals at the World Mas­ters Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Spain. She’s been atop the podium since 2013.

“I keep think­ing maybe this is my last (world cham­pi­onship),” she says. “But I keep do­ing it.”

Horne has long been a firm be­liever in the im­por­tance of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

“I’ve been ex­er­cis­ing on a reg­u­lar ba­sis since I was 35 — that’s when I learned to swim,” she says.

She took up the sport af­ter watch­ing her two young boys at swim­ming lessons. It looked like fun, so she signed up for

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