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

A Star With A Future

The records began to fall to Torres's intense energy and determination. In June of 2000 she set a U. S. record at the 50-meter freestyle trials. In early August of 2000 at the Olympic tryouts in Indianapolis, she thrashed out her fastest times to qualify for the Sydney events in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butter-fly, and 400-meter freestyle relay. Speculators immediately predicted that she would become the oldest U. S. female swimmer to win a medal and the first swimmer to medal at four separate Olympics. Their prophecies came true as she left Sydney with three bronze medals for the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter fly and two gold medals for the 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley.

While looking for ways to aid young swimmers and give something back to the sport that brought her fame, Torres savored stardom, yet stored her medals under her bed. In November Women's Wear Daily invited her along with gymnast Nadia Comaneci and track star Jackie Joyner-Kersee to the unveiling of a salute to female athletes at New York City's Madison Square Garden. In March of 2001 Torres published a brief memoir, "The Beauty of Dreams," in Rodale's Fitness Swimmer, in which she acknowledged a maturity that enabled her to select and attain worthy aims. Graciously, she recognized Coach Quick for building her cardiovascular endurance and core strength.

Torres showed no intention of abandoning sports. She considered applying her understanding of physiology and nutrition to coaching, sports commentary, and public relations. To keep the hunger for competition under control, she worked for Turner Sports, served Self Magazine as fitness expert, and began pursuing extreme sports, including high-speed race-car driving at the Toyota Grand Prix at Long Beach.



The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who, 2001.


Newsweek, August 14, 2000.

New York Times, August 8, 2000; August 15, 2000; August 17, 2000.

People Weekly, September 18, 2000.

Rodale's Fitness Swimmer, November, 1999; July, 2000; November, 2000; March, 2001.

Sports Illustrated, February 28, 1983; June 18, 1984; August 28, 2000.

Sports Illustrated for Women, March 1, 2001.

Swimming, July 30, 1999.

WWD, November 17, 2000.

—Mary Ellen Snodgrass

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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