South Euclid resident Susan Paris won three gold medals at the Ohio Senior Olympic State Games on May 5 at Westerville Community Center in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus. She finished first in three swimming events and second in two other events.
Paris, 73, finished first in the 70 to 74 age group in the 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle events. She earned silver in the 50-yard freeestyle and 50-yard backstroke events.
Paris said she started her athletic career as a marathon runner, but gave up running in the 1990s and switched to swimming. She trains at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood, where she swims about 5 miles a week and 20 miles a month. She said she wasn’t expecting to win gold at the event and attended the competition with some friends.
“I had heard about (the competition) for a couple years and just decided I was going to do it this year,” Paris said. “I was very surprised and happy (to win). It was just something exciting, what can I say?”
Paris, who is retired, said she plans one more competitive race this summer, the 2019 Brogan Open Water Classic July 13 at Edgewater Park in Cleveland. She will compete in the half-mile swim.