Bob Bourassa has had more than 25 years of competitive swimming. Starting at the age of 10, under the aegis of Pawtucket’s Jim Donaldson, he earned his first city championship award in the freestyle event. In 1954, while swimming for the Pawtucket Boys’ Club under the coaching of Andy Dimant, he became proficient enough to be named to the Rhode Island Coaches All-State Team in the 50 yard freestyle and the 100 yard freestyle relay. In 1957 he was named to the Rhode Island Journal Bulletin All-State Swimming Team as a member of Tolman

Senior High School’s 200 yard medley relay team. In 1958 he won the 400 yard individual medley at the New England Boys’ Club swimming championships at Harvard University. In 1959, as a senior, swimming for Max Read at Pawtucket’s Tolman High School he won the 200 yard individual medley at the prestigious George R. Meehan Swimming Championships held at the East Providence High School pool.

After a stint in the U.S. Navy, and corrective back surgery, Bob competed again in 1977 when he entered a masters’ meet at Brown University. Shortly after, at the urging of Ken Reall and Frank McQuiggan, he started intense and demanding workout sessions that produced times better than those of his high school days. By 1980 he achieved recognition as a New England and National Top Ten master swimmer. In 1987 he set a New England record in the 400 meter freestyle for the 45-49 age group and in 1991 a New England record in the 200 meter and 400 meter individual medley. In 1994 Bob recorded the fastest time in the United States in the 50-54 year age group in the 800 meter freestyle at the World Games for Masters in Montreal, Canada. This led to his being named a 1994 All-American Masters’ Swimmer.