Sunday, August 24, 2008
Dara Torres - Over 40 and Fabulous
So I am an Olympics junkie - I admit it.
I have been, unashamedly, hooked for two weeks watching the world's best athletes perform at their peak.
One of my absolute favorites has been swimmer Dara Torres. At 41 years old, Torres is the first American swimmer to compete in five, yes count them - FIVE Olympics. Torres, who holds nine career Olympic medals, including the freestyle relay gold she won at 17 years old, is also the oldest swimmer to ever qualify for the games.
Last week I wrote about Usain Bolt and Micheal Phelps and felt that if you didn't yet know about Dara Torres - you should.
Why I admire her? Torres hung her swimsuit out to dry after the 2004 games in Sydney and assumed new roles. She ultimately got married, was divorced and worked as a sports broadcaster.
In 2006 Torres went back to work, resumed training and lost 36 pounds after giving birth to her first daughter.
Torres exemplifies to me, the courageous, older professional who returns to career form through hard work and discipline. Her success in the Beijing Olympics should be an inspiration to everyone who is considering career reentry.
Torres reminds us that it is entirely possible to compete effectively and that having heart and drive is not limited to numbers on a calendar. Check out this You Tube video where Dara Torres was featured as the ABC Person of the Week as she went through qualifying trials last year.