Friday, July 13, 2012

Dara Torres in the women's 50m freestyle Olympic trials

"A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." — Eleanor Roosevelt

SUNDAY NIGHT AT the Olympic swimming trials we also saw the two semi-finals races in the women's 50m freestyle. In the second semi, we were privileged to see the fabulous and amazing Dara Torres.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about her. 

"Torres is the first and only swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008), and, at age 41, is the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic team. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, she competed in the 50-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter medley relay, and 4x100-meter freestyle relay, and won silver medals in all three events.

"Torres has won twelve Olympic medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze), five of which she won in the 2000 Summer Olympics, when at age 33, she was the oldest member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Swim Team. She has also won at least one medal in each of the five Olympics in which she has competed, making her one of only a handful of Olympians to earn medals in five different Games.

"On August 1, 2007, at age 40 (just 15 months after giving birth to her first child), she won gold in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, her fourteenth national championship. On August 4, she broke her own American record in the 50-meter freestyle, 26 years after she first set the American record at just 15 years old."

Paul and I were lucky enough to see her compete four years ago at the Olympic trials when she secured a spot on the team for the 2008 Olympics where she earned a silver medal in the 50m freestyle beating young women half her age.

Four of the swimmers in the first heat of the women's 50m semi-final.

Off the blocks in the first heat.

Dara Torres splashes her face before the start of the second heat.

Dara came in second — good enough to swim in the finals for a chance to earn a spot on the team.

She's a media star.

She didn't finish in the top two the following day and didn't make 
the team, but what a wonderment she is. At 45 she beat scores 
of swimmers half her age in order to swim in the finals.

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