Since her first international race at the age of 14, Dara Torres has proven that she is far from your average athlete. As a student at the University of Florida, she earned the maximum possible number of 28 NCAA All-American swimming awards. As the first US swimmer to compete in four Olympic Games, Dara set three World records and won nine Olympic medals, including four gold. In the Sydney Olympic Games alone, after a seven-year break from competitive swimming, Dara won gold in the 400m freestyle and 400m MR and bronze in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, and the 100m butterfly. After the 2000 Olympics, Dara retired again to start a family, but dove right back into swimming in the 2006 Masters Nationals where she broke a world record, just three weeks after her daughter’s birth. And in August 2007 Dara won another National title and broke her own 7 year old American Record in the 50 Freestyle.
Outside of swimming, Dara has made a name for herself as a TV commentator and a print model and was the first athlete to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 1994. She was a feature correspondent for Good Morning America, worked on-air for ESPN, TNT and Fox News Channel including stints on NHL Cool Shots and Fox Sports Sunday.
Six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg described Torres's drive as "just amazing", "To make a run at the Olympics for a 40-year-old mother seems totally out of the question .... But Dara is not measured by normal standards. She is truly an exception, defying several laws of life." (Swimnews.com)
Torres has successfully made her comeback to competitive swimming by making her 5th Olympic squad. She won a total of 3 silver medals at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.