Posted by: Female Perspective | October 7, 2010

Thursday: Dara Torres

Dara Torres is an American swimmer and an Olympic gold medalists.  She has competed in five separate Olympic games.  Her first Olympics was in 1984 where she won a gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay race.  Than in 1988, she again represented America and won a bronze and silver medal.  In 1992, she won another gold medal for her participation in yet another relay race.  After not qualifying for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, she returned in 2000 and was the oldest women on the U.S. swim team at 33 years old.  However she won five medals, more than any of her teammates.   

After her outstanding performance in 2000, Dara sat out the 2004 Olympics.  However, in 2008 at 41 years old she returned to the Olympic games becoming the first women in the history of the Olympics to compete past the age of 40.  After beating out girls half her age to qualify for the Olympics, Torres came under some speculation that she was using performance enhancing drugs.  To silence her critics, she volunteered for extra drug tests that eventually proved that she was drug free.  Torres walked away from the games with three more silver medals to her name.  Torres’ twelve Olympic medals tied her with Jenny Thompson for the most medals won. 

After having reconstructive knee surgery in 2010, Dara did state that she is training to compete in the 2012 Olympic trials at which point she will be 45 years old.  Dara is defining age.  She refuses to let her age take control of her life.  She believes that she can compete in this fast young world of swimming and she is proving that you can’t count out a girl just because of her age. 

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