Dara made her fifth U.S. Olympic team over the weekend, qualifying in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races. Both times, she beat a field of 20-something. Dara competed in her first Olympics in 1984 where she took home a gold medal at age 17. For those counting at home, 24 years have passed since then. That means her first Olympic medal is older than some of you reading right now. Already it’s a good year older than fellow Olympian Michael Phelps. Her last Olympics were in Sydney in 2000. Her accomplishment at this weekend’s trials make her the first American swimmer to compete in five games and the oldest female swimmer in the history of the Olympics.
The New York Times Magazine ran a feature on Torres before the U.S. Olympic Trials. [Hat tip, Lola!] The story called her 41-year-old body “breathtaking” and I really can’t think of a better word. It’s staggering, really. The article also explains how she keeps it that way with a team that includes “a head coach, a sprint coach, a strength coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor and a nanny, at the cost of at least $100,000 per year.” It even addresses the inevitable doping questions (she has never tested positive and recently even volunteered to be in a new, much more strenuous anti-doping pilot program.)
Over the weekend Dara won both her races, beating out competitors 16 and 20 years younger than her. On the way to winning the 50-meter freestyle she set a new American record. After winning the latter, she told reporters: “I think I’ve shown that you don’t want to put an age limit on your dreams.”uber hotness pinged any of your collective gaydars, she is apparently straight. That’s a whole different kind of damn.