Last February, despondent over the loss of the love of his life, Tony Goodwin was going through the motions in the pool.
But a heart to heart with his son convinced him to head to the World Aquatic Masters Championships and give it his all.
Four gold medals and three world records later, Tony was named Sport NSW Masters Athlete of the Year.
A painful loss
The 86-year-old admitted to struggling for motivation after losing his beloved wife Cush to motor neurone disease in February.
"She was one of those people who came to all the carnivals, whenever there was work to be done, she'd do it," he said.
"I was feeling despondent, i just couldn't be bothered. I would go to the pool and just do it in roundabout way, but I wasn't really focused."
Heart to heart
Worried about his father's wellbeing, Tony's son Mark sat down for a heart to heart, telling him that if he wanted to go to the championships and do well, something needed to change.
Mark, his wife Stev and daughter Jenny all decided to go to Japan and watch him compete in the championships, which took place last last August, and it gave him the impetus he needed to get back on track and give it his all.
"What's gone before and what's coming is irrelevant, you've just got to get up in the morning and do something. That's what a lot of seniors don't do," he said.
Tony - who was 85 at the time of the championships, went on to claim gold in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, as well as the 200m individual medley in the 80-85 years age category. In addition to world records in all three breaststroke events. He also walked away from the championships with a silver and bronze medal.
He is no stranger to world records - he has broken his own records in the three breaststroke categories multiple times, including eight times last year and 10 times in the previous year.
Early days and hiatus
Tony was a highly competitive swimmer in his youth, with breaststroke always being his preferred stroke, but he had very stiff competition in the form of Terry Gathercole - who would go on to win silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the 1960 summer Olympics.
When he was about 20 and representing Queensland, he narrowly missed qualification for the nationals, and the swimmer who beat him would go on to be beaten by Gathercole by "five or six seconds".
Shortly after, he decided to give the sport away. He would not return to it for 35 years.
"A well known Queensland coach said 'Would you be interested if I took you on? I think you've got a lot of potential."
"I said not really, I want to go enjoy life.... I met the love of my life soon after."
While he didn't swim competitively again until he was 55, he maintained a love of sport, playing cricket for 30 years.
"I went to boarding school, and if we weren't playing sport, the headmaster thought we were being naughty," he said.
"I just love sport, love watching it, love listening to it, love doing it."
Fit as a fiddle
He also remained passionate about his health, being sure to keep himself in great shape.
"I've always been a bit of a health nut, I don't eat at McDonalds, I eat and drink responsibly."
"I've got a healthy lifestyle, without being a lunatic."
So what's next for Tony? He has his sights set on this year's World Swimming Championships, which will take place in Doha in February.
He believes it is important for seniors to stay fit and active, and encourages anyone who might be struggling for motivation to take the plunge and do something active.
"You don't have to break a world record, just go and do something."