With the Olympic trials around the corner, will Dara Torres make Olympic history by becoming the first swimmer to compete in five gamess and the oldest swimmer at age 41?
Whether she achieves this goal or not, she has already become an athlete that young female swimmers want to emulate.
Dara Torres is the first Olympic swimmer to compete in four Olympics: 1984, 1988, 1992 and 2000.
In these four Olympics, Torres has won nine medals, including four gold.
In fact, she is the oldest Olympic gold medalist in U.S. swimming history! Torres has won 13 National titles between 1982 and 2000. She is also the record holder in 50 meter freestyle and 100 meter butterfly.
Torres was born on April 15, 1967, in Los Angeles. While in school, she participated in many sports, including volleyball, gymnastics and basketball. Even though she played all these sports, she says water was her first love. Torres swam in her first international race at age 14.
Not only is Dara an Olympic champion, she is also a mother. In April 2006, she gave birth to her first child, Tessa Grace.
Just three weeks later, she won second place in 200 meter freestyle and 200 medley relay at the Masters Nationals.
Even more amazing, just 15 months after Tessa was born, Dara broke her own American record in the 50 meter freestyle!
One for all women
Even though Dara has won so many medals, she says, “My fifth time around isn’t about winning medals, but rather breaking barriers for women and mothers in their 40s and showing myself that I can swim at a level nobody ever has.”
Torres hopes that the 2008 Olympics, her second comeback, “will allow others, not necessarily just swimmers, but athletes of all levels, to know that you don’t have to necessarily put an age limit on your dreams and goals.”
When Dara isn’t swimming, she spends time being a journalist, a model, and takes part in extreme sports. such as race car driving.
Like Dara, I’m a swimmer. She has taught me to work harder in swimming. If I do, I will be able to reach my goals that I’m working toward. Dara Torres has shown that with a lot of hard work and determination, anyone, no matter what age, can achieve their goals!
Samantha Moruzzi is a fourth-grader at Otke Elementary School in Clifton Park.