Jul 29, 2021
Dara Torres made history as the
first American swimmer to compete in five Olympic
Games and again as the oldest swimmer to win an
Olympic medal at age 41 in 2008.
Today, Dara shares the "heart-racing, thrilling"
feeling of earning her first medal in 1984, what it felt like
to defy expectations with two comebacks and how she
balanced her career while being a mother.
With the 2020 Olympics in full swing, this
the celebration of inspiring moments in global
- Before becoming a 12-time Olympic medalist, Dara recognized her
love for swimming at a YMCA competition at 12 years old.
- Caught up in excitement of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los
Angeles, her first, Dara recalls how rival Jill Sterkel helped her
refocus after swimming poorly during qualifying.
- Heart-racing, thrilling, adrenaline-filled for
days: Dara shares the indescribable feeling of winning her
first gold in 1984 and her appreciation of her 2008 silver.
- At University of Florida, Dara earned 28 All-American swimming
honors – the maximum possible in a college career – yet she sees
that time as a dark period in her life.
- Her underrated battled with bulimia: After
five years, Dara sought help and set small, daily goals to overcome
- After three Olympics + four medals, Dara left the sport for
seven years before making her first comeback at 33 at the 2000
Summer Olympics in Sydney.
- Eight years later, now 41 and a mom, Dara returns for her
second comeback at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Earning
three silver medals, she became the oldest U.S. Olympic swimmer in
history, the first American swimmer to appear in five Olympic Games
and the oldest swimmer to win a medal in Olympic history.
- There is no “I” in team: Dara shares her
gratitude for those who played a role in her accomplishments.
- What is the best book you’ve ever read? The
future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
- What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as
a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Treating
- Your house is on fire, all living things and people are
out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What
would it be? Something that represents my family, like a
- You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous
beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with
anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Jesse Owens to
learn how he overcame adversity.
- What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Treat everyone equal.
- What advice would you give your 20-year-old
self? Don’t worry what other people think of you.
- It’s been said that all great people can have their
lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to
read? Always on the go. Longevity in the sport.