Gaile Harden, USMS (United States Master Swim) swimmer awarded for making the Top Ten in her 80-84 age group!

Gaile Harden, USMS (United States Master Swim) swimmer awarded for making the Top Ten in her 80-84 age group. Gaile won the award for short course yards swimming the 1,000-yard freestyle in February this year. Last year Gaile placed in the top ten in the 50, 100 & 200 Backstroke and 50, 100 & 200 Breaststroke. Her husband Paul of 62 years (they were high school sweethearts) coaches her at meets, keeping her focused, encouraged, and warm.


Gaile started swimming at age 54 to help with a back injury and has been swimming at YMCAs since that time. She swam at the Littleton, CO YMCA, then the Glendale Peoria YMCA before moving to Prescott, where Gaile and Paul have been YMCA members for 20 years. Gaile credits swimming at the YMCA for her continued healing. Gaile has had health problems in the past (shoulder and stem replaced in her left arm), contends with osteoporosis and more recently clogged arteries in her lower legs. The doctors found that she had made her own arteries in her lower legs and from all her swimming and other exercises. Gaile swims 3 to 4 days a week, does light weights, Pilates 3 days a week and walks.


While the pool was closed due to Covid-19, Gaile was creative in working out using pulleys to simulate the freestyle stroke.  Gaile said “I was so thrilled when the Y opened their pool, so I could get back to my workout.” Denise Dalke-Heredia, Membership staff said “Gaile always comes in with a smile and eager to get in the pool to her favorite Lane #1.” Gaile also said “After swimming the reserved 50 minutes, I wish I could swim longer as I’m concentrating on bettering my distance swimming and can’t wait for the pool to  open more.”

Gaile is a retired teacher and volunteered teaching swim lessons in Colorado. When Gaile is not training for her next meet you can find her playing the electric keyboard & guitar and writing children’s stories. Her picture was also on the back of a NV Senior magazine and was quoted “You don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.” The Prescott YMCA is blessed to have Gaile as part of our Y Family!!

For more information about the James Family Prescott YMCA aquatics and their mission, visit or call Austin Olsen, Aquatics Coordinator, 928-445-7221 or

About James Family Prescott YMCA

The James Family Prescott YMCA is a community within a community serving our diverse population in the quad-city area. As a leading nonprofit organization, the YMCA exists to strengthen the foundation of the community. The YMCA has served the local communities in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey/Humboldt since 1974; offering over 60 health, wellness and community programs within the four-building facility.

The YMCA is dedicated to providing affordable programs and services to benefit people of all incomes and backgrounds. Thanks to the generous support of those who donate to the Y’s Annual Campaign and other fundraising events, financial assistance is available to those who cannot afford the full fee and qualify for assistance.

The YMCA aims to provide each member with every opportunity to reach farther and improve their lives and the lives of those around them. Through Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility, the YMCA’s goal is to inspire positive and lasting social change. For more information visit