Five-time Olympian Swimmer, mother, model, TV personality, and motivational speaker
Dara Torres is arguably the fastest female swimmer in America. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympics a few years later in 1984. At the Beijing Games in 2008, Dara became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympics. When she took three silver medals including the infamous heartbreaking 50-meter freestyle race where she missed the Gold by 1/100th of a second – America loved her all the more for her astonishing achievement and her good-natured acceptance of the results.
In total, Dara has competed in 5 Olympic Games and has won 12 medals in her Olympic career. Her impressive performance in Beijing has inspired many older athletes to consider re-entering competition, including cyclist Lance Armstrong. Even after undergoing radical reconstructive surgery on her knee in fall of 2009, Torres has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Aside from her amazing accomplishments in the pool, Dara has other talents on dry land as well. She has appeared as a commentator on such networks as Fox News, ESPN and the Discovery Channel, and was the first female athlete to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 2009, Dara won the ESPY award for Best Comeback and was named one of the Top Female Athletes of the decade by Sports Illustrated magazine.
Her memoir, "Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams At Any Stage In Your Life," was published in April, 2009 and was listed as one of the top 25 best-selling business books in the month of June. Her second book, "Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program" was released in May, 2010.
Olympian, author, mother, and role model, Dara Torres is many things to many people, but above all, she is an inspiration.