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Dara Torres: 1967—: Olympic Swimmer, Model, TV Reporter and Announcer

Beat The Odds

Glorying in the rebuilding of flaccid limbs, Torres beefed up with 20 pounds of muscle while cross-training and stabilizing abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Under the guidance of British strength trainer Robert Weir, an Olympic discus and hammer throw competitor, she increased bench-presses from 105 to 205 pounds. The workouts started her on the way to new challenges. In December of 1999 at the U. S. Open in San Antonio, Texas, she won the 50-meter freestyle against her friend Jenny Thompson. In March of 2000 Torres snagged a national title in the 100-meter freestyle at the Phillips 66 Nationals in Federal Way, Washington. She told Newsweek, "I am more competitive now than I've ever been in my life."

For 13 months Torres swam, trained, and lifted weights for six hours a day, specializing in kickboard workouts and the Gravitron, her favorite exercise machine. The program demanded one-on-one strength training, dry-land aerobics, flip turn maneuvers, and weekly circuit training by jumping rope, building abs, rope climbing, and doing hundreds of crunches and pullups daily. De-stressing muscles called for pummeling from two trainers who walked in sock feet on her back and legs. The added exertion required six meals per day comprised of 30 percent protein, 30 percent fat, and 40 percent carbohydrates supplemented with 25 pills, Gu carbohydrate powder, Zone bars, Runner's Advantage (liquid creatine), and hydration with Revenge sports drink.

In view of her fervor, fellow Olympic swimming medalist Donna de Varona surmised that Torres had quit before reaching the greatness she was capable of. The return was a means of completing "unfinished business." Torres warded off a spurious announcement by the New York Post that she was dating New York Senator Alphonse D'Amato. More serious were team-mates' accusations of attention grabbing, which prompted Coach Quick to begin training Torres away from the other Olympic aspirants. She strongly rebutted the implication of USA Today columnist Christine Brennan that Torres might owe her rapid reduction of lane sprints to performance-enhancing drugs. Torres's mother credited her daughter's performance to a lifelong pattern of overachieving. Quick told USA Today, "She's packed three years of training into one."

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Theodosius I to David Watmough Biography - David Watmough comments:Dara Torres: 1967—: Olympic Swimmer, Model, TV Reporter and Announcer Biography - From Hyperactivity To Competition, From Champion To Olympian, Training Again At 33, Beat The Odds