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Dara Torres is arguably the fastest female swimmer in America. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympics a few years later in 1984.
At the Beijing Games in 2008, Torres became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympics. When she took three silver medals -- including the infamous heartbreaking 50-meter freestyle race where she missed the Gold by 1/100th of a second -- America loved her all the more for her astonishing achievement and her good-natured acceptance of the results.
In total, Torres has competed in 5 Olympic Games and has won 12 medals in her Olympic career. Even after undergoing radical reconstructive surgery on her knee in fall of 2009, Torres has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon and still says she will try for the 2012 London Olympics
Aside from her amazing accomplishments in the pool, she has appeared as a commentator on such networks as Fox News, ESPN and the Discovery Channel, and was the first female athlete to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. In 2009, Torres won the ESPY award for Best Comeback and was named one of the Top Female Athletes of the decade by Sports Illustrated magazine. A national spokesperson for McDonald's, she's also the best-selling author of Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams At Any Stage In Your Life, and Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program.
Olympian, author, mother, and role model, sports speaker Dara Torres is many things to many people, but above all, she is an inspiration.
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