Dara Torres: Why I Am One In A Thousand


Dara Torres, ISHOF Honoree and five-time Olympic team member is special.  She is One in a Thousand!

When asked why she wanted to join the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s One in A Thousand Club, Torres said, “I first discovered the Hall of Fame Museum as a 12-year old California kid going to my first YMCA Nationals in Fort Lauderdale.  I didn’t know a place like this even existed.  I didn’t know anything about Olympians of the past or the history of our sport and I was fascinated by it. The first thing I  did when I was in  Fort Lauderdale, was visit the Hall of Fame.  It was filled with history, artifacts, stories, and treasures. I remember walking through the museum with my mom and coach, and it was amazing.”   

“So, I want to give back. Swimming has been such a huge part of my life.   It touches my heart to give back to the sport that has done so much for me. If I can help even a little bit to preserve the history that I was so inspired by as a 12-year old, I absolutely will.  

Join the One in a Thousand Club by helping ISHOF on a monthly or one-time basis.


For larger corporate sponsorships and estate-planning donations, please contact us at customerservice@ishof.org.


Dara Torres as M.C. at the ISHOF induction in 2019; Photo Courtesy: JM STREINER

About Dara Torres

Dara Grace Torres grew up in Beverly Hills, California, where she learned to swim in her family’s backyard pool.  At the age of seven, she followed her brothers to swim practice at the local YMCA.  During her junior year of high school, Torres moved to Mission Viejo, CA to train with Hall of Fame Coach Mark Schubert, and in 1983 she broke the world record in the 50-meter freestyle.  The next year, while not yet a senior in high school, she won her first Olympic gold medal as a member of the USA’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team at the Los Angeles Olympic Games.

While swimming for Randy Reese at the University of Florida, Torres earned 28 NCAA All-American swimming awards and at the 1988 Olympic Games, she won two silver medals swimming on relays.  She finished her collegiate athletic career playing volleyball and took two years off before returning to win her second Olympic relay gold medal in Barcelona, Spain during the summer of 1992.

After 1992, Torres lived what appeared to be a glamorous life.  She moved to New York City, worked in television, and as a Wilhelmina model.  She became the first model athlete in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Then, in the spring of 1999, despite not having trained in a pool for seven years, she decided to give the Olympics one more try.

Dara trained with Coach Richard Quick in Palo Alto and Santa Clara, and made the Olympic team for the fourth time, at the age of 33.  She returned home with five medals, more than any other member of the team, including three in individual events and retired.

Dara Torres with her daughter

In 2005, while pregnant with her first child, Dara began swimming three or four times a week at the Coral Sprinsg Aquatic Complex, to keep fit.  After giving birth to Tessa Grace, in April 2006, she entered two Masters meets and posted times that emboldened her to try another comeback.  She asked Coral Springs coach Michael Lohberg, if he would coach her, and a little over a year later, she won the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.  Three days later, she broke the American record in the 50-meter freestyle for the 10th time-an amazing 24 years after setting it for the very first time. In 2008, Dara qualified for her fifth Olympic team.   At the Beijing Games, she became the oldest swimmer ever to compete in the Olympics.  Dara returned home with three silver medals, including the heartbreaking 50-meter freestyle race where she missed gold by 1/100th of a second.

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 and became a best-selling author with the release of her inspirational memoir, “Age is Just A Number”.

Dara continued swimming after recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.  With the encouragement of Coach Lohberg, she set her sights on making a record sixth Olympic team.  When she barely missed making the London Olympic team by nine-hundredths of a second at the 2012 US Swimming Olympic Trials, Dara announced her retirement with a smile on her face and her six-year old daughter Tessa in her arms.

Olympian, television personality, fitness guru, queen of the comeback, best-selling author ISHOF supporter and Honoree, and a mother.  Dara Torres is many things to many people, but above all, she is an inspiration, and now, she is “One in A Thousand.”


The International Swimming Hall of Fame wants to know if you are one in a thousand?  We think you are!  Show how special you are and become a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One In A Thousand” Club.  Help keep the International Swimming Hall of Fame moving forward toward a new vision and museum by joining now!

During these unprecedented times, the ISHOF Board is calling on every member in the aquatic community to make a small monthly commitment of support to show how special you are and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.


Our goal is simple. If we get 1,000 people to simply commit $10, $25 or $50 per month, we will generate enough revenue to go beyond this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis.” – Bill KentChairman of the ISHOF Board

Those that believe in our vision, mission, and goals can join us in taking ISHOF into the future and be a part of aquatic history.”  – Brent Rutemiller – CEO and President of ISHOF

Since 1965, ISHOF has been the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports. ISHOF’s vision for the future is to build a new museum and expand its reach by offering its museum artifacts digitally through a redesigned website.

The ISHOF Board of Directors is calling on all members of the aquatics community to make a small monthly commitment to show their dedication to aquatics and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

About ISHOF   Take a Virtual Tour

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

ISHOF Vision Statement
To be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.

ISHOF Mission Statement
To collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate history, showcase events, share cultures, and increase participation in aquatic sports.


Architectural rendition of Hall of Fame Aquatic Center that is currently under renovation.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. Contributions to ISHOF are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. ISHOF’s tax identification number is 59-1087179. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR FROM THE WEBSITE, www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. You can find out more about us on guidestar.org under International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc.

For more information please contact:
Brandi West, Marketing Director

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Pat Kennedy
3 years ago

One of the greatest swimmers ever!!

Trudy Marais
3 years ago

Indeed acknowledged for her hard work in the pool?

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