#30MostSwimfluential: Dara Torres

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Who is Dara Torres?

  • Torres is the first and only swimmer to represent the United States in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008).
  • Torres has won 12 Olympic medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze), one of three women with the most Olympic swimming medals.
  • At age 41, she was the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team.
  • Dara was the first female athlete ever to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
  • In 2009, she won the ESPY award for “Best Comeback.”
  • She was also named one of the “Top Female Athletes of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated magazine
  • She published “Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life,” in April of 2009 and it was listed as one of the top 25 best-selling business books by June.
  • She also is the author of “Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program” which came out in May of 2010 and is now a New York Times Best Seller.

How did she influence the swimming community?

Dara Torres is a trail blazer for women in the swimming community. She inspires women to forget about stereotypes and limits and to pursue their dreams as long as they want. This award-winning author encourages living healthy lifestyles regardless of the obstacles that lay ahead. Torres proves that age is just a number and has been a inspirational face in the swimming world for many years.

Words from the swimfluential Dara Torres:

“I look at this list of iconic swimmers and people that could be on the Mt. Rushmore of swimming and I am just in awe.  I appreciate the honor and hope I can continue to help the sport that I love and that has given me so much as a person, an athlete and a mom.”

*USA Swimming and Speedo invited the swimming community to help celebrate their 30 years of partnership by voting for the “30 Most Influential People in Swimming Over the Past 30 Years.” Votes were cast through social media with the hashtag #30MostSwimfluential and the final vote came from a panel of 10 judges selected by USA Swimming and Speedo. All 30 nominees have had a powerful impact on the swimming community. Many are recognizable names, but some have remained unsung heroes of the sport. Swimming World will profile each swimfluential person over the course of the week.

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Author: Delaney Lanker

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Delaney Lanker is a junior at Northeastern University studying journalism. She is a butterflier and captain of their NCAA Division I team. Before college, she swam for the Colorado Stars.

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