Returning to sports
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Returning to sports

Returning to sports
By the time he was 14, Tord Benner had racked up seven years of competitive swimming in his home state of Pennsylvania. (Allen Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Benner, a chemical engineer from Costa Mesa, hooked up with the Nova Masters Swimming Program in Irvine — and found that jumping back in the water wasn’t as easy as he had thought. (Allen Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Sometimes Richard Dessert wrestles guys his own age, sometimes he wrestles high school students. (Richard Hartog / LAT)
Returning to sports
Dessert’s physical therapist suggested he try wrestling for its core-strengthening attributes. (Richard Hartog / LAT)
Returning to sports
Dessert, an artist and poet, made his way back to wrestling almost two years ago. (Richard Hartog / LAT)
Returning to sports
Dessert wrestled in high school and at Cal Poly Pomona, finding it a good fit “because it’s kind of a mix between a team and an individual sport.” (Richard Hartog / LAT)
Returning to sports
Elizabeth Chase hung up her skates as a teen but is competing again at 40. (Annie Wells / LAT)
Returning to sports
At the direction of her coach, Chase practices her moves again and again as she strives to lift her leg a little further, spin a little faster and jump a little higher. (Annie Wells / LAT)
Returning to sports
When Chase was an 11-year-old growing up in Pacific Palisades, her mother would ferry her, before dawn, almost every day to the now-defunct Santa Monica Ice Rink. (Annie Wells / LAT)
Returning to sports
Bernie Miller savors pole vaulting at 46. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Three years ago, Miller picked up a pole, planted it in the ground and once again flew. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Miller got his first taste of vaulting in junior high when he joined the track team. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Miller had loved the feeling of sailing through the air the very first time he had launched himself with nothing more than a steel pole when he was in the seventh grade. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Returning to sports
Miller’s athletic youth was spent in something of a tussle between his twin devotions to pole vaulting and baseball. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
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