Jack Alexander, Age: 70
CEO, Jack Alexander LLC
When Alexander left Oscar de la Renta in 1994 after nearly two decades as VP of public relations and special events, he found himself at loose ends. “I was trying to figure out what to do. I didn’t want to sit around watching TV in the afternoon,” he says. Then Alexander heard about Gay Games, an Olympics–style multisport competition, and decided to volunteer. After managing the swimmers, he tried the sport himself and was quickly hooked. Alexander won his first gold medal in 1998 at Gay Games V in Amsterdam, and in 2002 earned another gold medal and a silver medal in the 800-meter freestyle in Sydney at Gay Games VI. Now a fashion company consultant living in Palm Springs, Calif., Alexander has had two spinal surgeries and can no longer swim competitively. But he still hits the pool daily. “My doctors are impressed with my stamina and physical ability,” he says. “Now it’s one hour of water aerobics every day. I’m still mobile and my long-term goal is to stay that way.”
GETTING IN THE GAME: You can get used to the water, says Alexander, with water aerobics classes. But to get beyond swimming basics and possibly compete, he recommends contacting a local masters swimming team so that you can train with people your own age.