Bob Bratina faces Flint mayor in CANUSA swim event
By Mark Newman, News Staff
Bob Bratina had the small blue swimming shorts ready.
The Hamilton Mayor pulled out what was actually a prop at a media event this afternoon to promote the mayors competition in the 57th annual CANUSA Games in Flint, Michigan Aug. 8-10.
Some 500 mostly youngsters from Hamilton will be facing their Flint counterparts in 15 sports in what has been traditionally a friendly competition.
This year Bratina will face Flint Mayor Dayne Walling in a 100 yard freestyle swim.
“To me 100 yards in the pool is more like a distance swim for me,” said the 70-year-old Bratina who will be competing against a 40-year-old.
“He was a Rhodes Scholar and I think he was a varsity swimmer,” said Bratina who joked about finding a way to distract his younger opponent.
“If we could get somebody in some scuba gear to sneak into the pool, you never know what could happen,” the Mayor said.
Last year Walling edged Bratina by 28 seconds in a 1,500 metre track race.
“It was 28 seconds, 30 years (age) difference, at one second a year I win it on the handicap,” said Bratina, a former long distance runner who noted he agreed to the swimming event as a way to encourage older Hamilton residents to stay active.