Rob King shows some of the numerous medals he has won as a swimmer. Now 92

Rob King shows some of the numerous medals he has won as a swimmer. Now 92

King earns medals for swimming

Rob King is known for being a great swimmer who competes each year in the B.C. Senior Games.

Some people may refer to him as the “Candy Man” but Rob King is also known for being a great swimmer who competes each year in the B.C. Senior Games.

King was born and raised in Calgary. He first gained a love for exercise and the outdoors after his father enrolled him in the Boy Scouts.

As a young man he was called up to serve in the Air Force and it was after the war that he met and married Dorene Hunt. Together they had three sons and a daughter. Their little girl died shortly after being born, because of deformities caused by the drug, Thalidomide.

Shortly after her death, the Kings adopted a baby girl.

As well as working full-time, King attended night school and became a Registered Industrial Accountant. He had moved 13 times and worked at 11 different places by the time he moved his family to the Okanagan in 1964. He then landed a government job with the income tax department, where he worked for the next 23 years, retiring in 1988.

King has always been a very active man, physically and mentally. He recently turned 92.

“I enjoy keeping active,” he said. “I was doing back hand springs until about five years ago and then my wrist got kind of sore, so I thought I had better slow down a bit.”

After retiring, King regularly went to the Aquatic Centre to exercise at the gym and to swim in the pool. It was then that a life guard named Eddy talked him into swimming in the Senior Games.

“To my great surprise, I came away with some medals and I was hooked,” said King.

That was 27 years ago and he has been competing and winning medals every year since then, except for one.

“It’s good. It gives you impetus to keep practising and to try and keep in shape,” said King. “Once you leave those things, whether it is swimming, running or walking, sometimes you never get back into it.”

King competes in the 90 year and over category for the 100 metre swim, where he does the butterfly stroke for 25 metres, the back stroke for the next 25, the breast stroke for 25 and then the free style for the final 25 metres.

“The older I get the less competition I am running into,” explained King. “There was maybe only three or four of us last year.”

Two things keep King motivated to continue competing. One is the fun of it. He enjoys the social aspect and visiting different places throughout the province. The other is having a goal to work towards, so he heads down to the pool at 6 a.m., three times a week to train.

After 65 ½ years of marriage, King’s wife passed away in 2012.

Three years later he met Albertine Meyer. They have many things in common, including a love for swimming.

Meyer thinks King is a Summerland icon, because so many people recognize him.

They recognize him for more than his swimming medals though.

“Rob likes to see smiles on people so he gives out Mentos,” explained Meyer. “He throws out candy at the Action Festival Parade and every time someone does a service, like opening the door, out comes the Mentos. If they do something really special, he’ll give a Cadbury chocolate bar. So he’s well known as the Candy Man in Summerland.”

It is possible that King also gives out candy because of something else too.

“I think that this is the best community on the entire face of the earth,” said King. “The people in Summerland are wonderful.”

The B.C. Senior 55+ Games are being held in Coquitlam on Sept 20 to 24 and King plans on competing there.

Leading up to those games he will be busy training at the pool, bouncing on the trampoline in his back yard and of course handing out candies.

(The writer would like to thank King for the Mentos and the Cadbury bar.)


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Steven Brown is running for Penticton city council in the June by-election. (Contributed)
Penticton race director throws hat into city council ring

Steven Brown will run with a focus on small business

Penticton Vees celebrate a goal in their second win to start their season on Saturday night at the SOEC. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees head into final weekend tied for first in league

The Vees have two games to take the top spot

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)
Two Summerland businesses closed due to COVID-19

The businesses are listed on the Interior Health website

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Most Read