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Thread: Death during Nationals

  1. #1
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    Death during Nationals

    Louis 'Dewey' Slater, 65, Dies After 1500 at U.S. Masters Swimming Nationals
    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com...80.asp?q=Louis

    Dewey & I had agreed to count for each other during the 1500 at Nationals but I ended up not entering the meet. I feel guilty for not being there with him, but also relieved that I did not have to witness the death of a friend.

    I don't think he ever posted on this forum, but he did lurk a lot and was a regular reader of pwb's High Volume workouts.

    At 2009 SC Nationals, he tackled the ultimate double, racing the 1000 and 1650 on the same day, placing top 3 in both. The next morning, he came back and finished 3rd in the 400 IM.

    Several years ago, our main coach commented that he would prefer to die either on his bike, or while coaching a hard swim set. Dewey said he would want to go during a race.

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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Sad news to hear

    Is the 1650 a masters only length ?

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresnoid View Post
    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com...80.asp?q=Louis

    Dewey & I had agreed to count for each other during the 1500 at Nationals but I ended up not entering the meet. I feel guilty for not being there with him, but also relieved that I did not have to witness the death of a friend.

    I don't think he ever posted on this forum, but he did lurk a lot and was a regular reader of pwb's High Volume workouts.

    At 2009 SC Nationals, he tackled the ultimate double, racing the 1000 and 1650 on the same day, placing top 3 in both. The next morning, he came back and finished 3rd in the 400 IM.

    Several years ago, our main coach commented that he would prefer to die either on his bike, or while coaching a hard swim set. Dewey said he would want to go during a race.
    I was so sorry to hear about a death of a fellow swimmer at Nationals. It is nice he passed while doing something he enjoyed, and the fact that you quoted him saying he would choose to go during a race almost makes it seem better yet.
    I hope it was quick and painless for him, and maybe those he left behind can take solace in the fact he got to end it the way he wanted.
    RIP Dewey.
    HTFU!

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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    I am so sorry.My condolences to all that knew him.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

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    Very Active Member Bill Sive's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    I was there and was and was actually watching him swim the 1500. I had just met the swimmer, Megan, in the lane next to Dewey. The Responders were on this super fast. I was wondering what the outcome was. Thoughts and prayers for Dewey and his family. I will light a candle for him.

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    USMS Membership Director Jayhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Here is a nice article about Louis "Dewey" Slater. He had been a continuous USMS member for more than 20 years; you can find Top 10 listings for him dating back to 1980.

    Fresno store owner Dewey Slater, 64, dies at Masters swim meet

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    Very Active Member ekw's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    This is so sad. Condolences to his family and friends. All the responders, volunteers, and swimmers are in my thoughts as well. I am glad to know that this is how he would have chosen to go and hope that gives those who love him solace.
    "Librarians are hiding something." - Stephen Colbert

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    Very Active Member jaegermeister's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    A loss for his family, community, and swimmer's everywhere. The article linked above paints a portrait of a sincere and gifted man.

    We all assume some risk when we are active. There's been some low-level debate/discussion in the medical community regarding the health risk of swimming. Having recently survived a small heart attack, I'm keenly aware of this. Also, we lost one of the most active members of our local club this past year at age 70. This much we know: the risk if very small, it is not predictable in relation to who or when, but of course healthy lifestyle leads to lower overall risk. Studies of sudden death in athletes indicate if the person is young (less than 35-40 or so) often there's an unrecognized heritable issue. If the age is 45 or greater, almost always it is unrecognized coronary artery disease.

    The key take home is to recognize symptoms that might indicate trouble, if they are present (the hard part is that many instances of cardiac arrest have no premonitory symptoms). For me, the earliest sign was "Why am I having heartburn at 5:30 AM, I haven't eaten anything?" For my deceased team-mate, his family recalled that in addition to "not feeling well" he had vague chest discomfort before he passed.

    I will say a prayer for Dewey and his family, pay him homage as I slip into the water, and swim on.

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    USMS Membership Director Jayhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by novaswimwear View Post
    Is the 1650 a masters only length ?
    No, but it is a distance swum only in the United States. It is swum in a 25-yard pool, which is the most common course here. A distance of 1650 yards is roughly equivalent to 1500 meters.

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    Very Active Member jessicafk11's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Very sorry to hear about this. Sending prayers and condolences to his family and friends.

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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Very sorry to hear this. It seems relatively rare to die in a pool race comparing to open water? If the heart conditions are usually triggered by intense activities (it seems?), perhaps people prone to heart diseases (older, or with family history) should "take it easy" during races or avoid intense competitions? I understand many people love competitions (esp. members of this forum), but from the point of view of health and longevity, I wonder if there have been studies comparing between the effects of lifelong competitive versus lifelong fitness swimming? It would make an interesting subject.
    Last edited by nhc; August 9th, 2013 at 05:41 PM.

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    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    The risk of sudden cardiac death due to coronary artery disease is increased slightly with strenuous (as opposed to moderate intensity) exercise. In all likelihood, if he hadn't suffered this during his 1500 it would have occurred at some other time and place. At least here there were first responders who could attend to him promptly, which gave him his best chance of surviving.

    Godspeed, Dewey.

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Too sad. I didn't know him and feel like I lost a friend. Seems like we shared similar values; we're almost exactly a year apart in age. The swimming world will miss his good karma, and I hope his family and friends will soon be able to cherish all of the memories from such a terrific person.

    On completion and life, as my parents taught me (see bold part below):

    "You'll find the road is long and rough, with soft spots far apart,
    Where only those can make the grade who have the Uphill Heart.
    And when they stop you with a thud or halt you with a crack,
    Let Courage call the signals as you keep on coming back.

    "Keep coming back, and though the world may romp across your spine,
    Let every game's end find you still upon the battling line;
    For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
    He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game."

    [Emphasis added]

    Excerpted from Alumnus Football by the immortal Grantland Rice.

    RIP Dewey, swim towards the light.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Swimming gives me a buzz! Bobinator's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by gull View Post
    The risk of sudden cardiac death due to coronary artery disease is increased slightly with strenuous (as opposed to moderate intensity) exercise. In all likelihood, if he hadn't suffered this during his 1500 it would have occurred at some other time and place. At least here there were first responders who could attend to him promptly, which gave him his best chance of surviving.

    Godspeed, Dewey.
    Hi Gull, I'm glad to hear a cardiologist say this! This is definitely the "take and feel" I get on situations like this.
    I have a stupid, genetic condition called LQT and I didn't find out about it until the age of 56.5. Throughout my life I was a swim team member, a solid and decent triathlete, and a sub 3 hour marathoner. When I was first told I couldn't exercise due to this precarious heart situation I freaked out. When my EP refused to talk to me anymore I found a new EP/Cardiologist who was much more qualified in the LQT area and definitely a people person who spent time with me as a person, not just a fluky heart. After breaking the IU Healthcare- Methodist Hosp. max record on the treadmill in flipflops, and receiving a genetic test confirming LQT I learned myself and one of my daughters have a never before seen genetic mutation Heterozygous for Gly983Asp in the SCN5A gene; novel, variant of unknown significance in the SCN5a gene. In other words we are heterozygous for a novel variant of unknown significance in the SCN5A gene. My EP was impressed w/my Ecko-stress results and told me my variant was probably non-problematic but he still thinks I should take Beta Blockers. (my lqt remained long as the hr elevated but never became arrhythmic) The IU med-center is now studying our case.
    What does this mean for me?? I think about my curious heart rhythm frequently. When I'm tired or not feeling my best I sometimes hesitate going to practice but in the end I always decide this: I am the same person I've always been my whole life and my heart, endurance, and physical energy has always been one of my most positive assets. If I give up on this part of my life I won't be the same, fearless person I've always been, and my career will no longer be relevant to what I feel and believe. I finally started swimming and competing again and am slowly working my way to fearless confidence. I've made a deal with myself that if I die during this quest it would probably happen anyway so why make myself miserable.
    Yesterday after learning of Dewey's death I had some negative thoughts about my heart on the way to the pool but I tried my hardest to stick them away and out of sight. My warm-ups always suck, but I was rewarded with a nice 3,400 Long Course workout and more importantly I still feel like myself.
    HTFU!

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    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Just to clarify, I was addressing the risk of SCD due to CAD. As you know there actually is an LQT variant associated with SCD while swimming.

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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
    Here is a nice article about Louis "Dewey" Slater. He had been a continuous USMS member for more than 20 years; you can find Top 10 listings for him dating back to 1980.

    Fresno store owner Dewey Slater, 64, dies at Masters swim meet
    Thanks for linking that article. It was on the front page of the paper this morning.

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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by jaegermeister View Post
    This much we know: the risk if very small, it is not predictable in relation to who or when, but of course healthy lifestyle leads to lower overall risk. Studies of sudden death in athletes indicate if the person is young (less than 35-40 or so) often there's an unrecognized heritable issue. If the age is 45 or greater, almost always it is unrecognized coronary artery disease.
    Those words bear repeating. Heart disease can affect swimmers, young and old - and everyone who swims seriously should be checked regularly by a physician and should be watchful for and attentive to the many risks and signs of heart disease, no matter how subtle, as all too often the risks go unrecognized.

    To underscore the importance of preventive heart care for everyone, no matter how fit, it's worth noting this is not the first time we've had a tragic loss in Southern California: http://forums.usms.org/archive/index.php/t-8056.html

    You can learn more by following this thread: http://forums.usms.org/showthread.ph...hile-competing ... In particular, note the link to the American Heart Association's screening tool ...
    Last edited by james lucas; August 10th, 2013 at 01:22 AM.

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    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    My condolences to his family & friends. AND to all the people at the pool - what a horrifying experience to have while hosting a sporting event! (I'll bet he was so pissed when he got to heaven - He probably said something like: "Put me back! I was on my way to a best time!")

  19. #19
    USMS Membership Director Jayhawk's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by gull View Post
    At least here there were first responders who could attend to him promptly, which gave him his best chance of surviving.

    Godspeed, Dewey.
    There is a study that just came out that looked at survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest, related to the location where the incident occurred. They looked at three types of locations: traditional exercise facilities, "alternative" exercise facilities (such as bowling alleys, dance studios), and non-exercise facilities.

    Link to full article:
    Sudden Cardiac Arrest Survival Odds Greater at Fitness Facilities

    Excerpt:
    Aug. 7, 2013 — People experiencing sudden cardiac arrest at exercise facilities have a higher chance of survival than at other indoor locations, likely due to early CPR and access to an automated external defibrillator (AED), among other factors, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The findings underscore the importance of having AEDs in places where people exert themselves and are at greater risk of sudden cardiac arrest...

    Location of the sudden cardiac arrest was categorized as occurring at a traditional exercise facility (health clubs, fitness centers), an alternative exercise facility (bowling alleys, workplace or hotel gyms, dance studio) or a non-exercise facility (banks, restaurants, shopping centers, airports).

    In total, 52 sudden cardiac arrests occurred at traditional exercise facilities, 84 at alternative exercise facilities and 713 at non-exercise facilities. Survival rates were 56 percent, 45 percent and 34 percent, respectively. Where information was available on the activity at the time of arrest, in 77 percent of cases the sudden cardiac arrest occurred during exercise, with only 18 percent occurring after exercise and 4 percent before exercise.

    Researchers also collected information on what type of exercise people were doing when the sudden cardiac arrest occurred. The most common activity was basketball, with 20.5 percent of occurrences. Basketball is often played at non-traditional exercise facilities, like community centers or church gyms. Following basketball were dancing and "working out," both at 11.6 percent; treadmill at 8.9 percent; tennis at 6.3 percent; bowling at 5.4 percent; and swimming at 4.5 percent...

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    USMS Member since 2003 gull's Avatar
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    Re: Death during Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by james lucas View Post
    ...and everyone who swims seriously should be checked regularly by a physician..
    Sound advice. Risk factor modification clearly lowers your risk. But the reality is that sudden cardiac death can be the first manifestation of CAD, and detection of a so-called vulnerable plaque (ie one that is more likely to rupture) is not possible at the present time.

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