I know Santa Claus exists because he competed in the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, and photographers could not get enough of the white-bearded octogenarian multi-sport star formerly known as Elvis Kipman.

O Santa Claus, which is the full name Kipman adopted by deed poll in 1990, was a Sydney 2009 World Masters Games triple threat, going for gold in running, swimming and, wait for it, diving events. “Is Santa Claus doing anything today?” was one of the questions most frequently asked of my Sydney 2009 World Masters Games media team as snappers identified the eccentric Killara resident as perfect subject matter for their portfolios. Several photographers entered their Sydney 2009 World Masters Games shots in competitions, including Getty Images lensman Craig Golding, who earned second place in one of the 2010 World Press Photo Contest categories.

A man of few words, O Santa Claus let his 80-year-old limbs do his talking, and he returned to Sydney’s North Shore with a bag of Sydney 2009 World Masters Games medals.

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