Saturday, July 5, 2008
What an amazing day in sports history! I have always loved swimming and I have always loved the Olympics. As a kid, I was glued to the television during each set of Olympic games. I loved it even more that my dad was there at the games working as a photo journalist because he would bring home the coolest souvenirs and photos for me. I got stuff that no one else would end up having in the neighborhood such as trading pins, t-shirts, back packs, and autographed pictures of the athletes.
One of the sports I always love to watch during the Olympics is the swimming events. I watched the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics closely because there was a girl who was swimming that was only a few years older than I was and we had the same last name, Torres. I was only starting my competitive swimming stint, and I was so impressed at how fast she was and the news articles about how she and Janet Evans spent hours and hours each day in the pool in sunny California swimming laps in practice.
I was impressed again in 2000 when Dara Torres came out of retirement at the "old" age of 33 and pulled an amazing 5 medals from her swimming events. She was just a small part of some of the reasons that I started back to competitive fitness with cycling, swimming, and triathlons. If she could do amazing things like what she pulled off at the Olympics at an age when most people would be insisting you retire from the sports world and take it easy, then there was more that was possible.
I had read about her recent attempts to get back into racing shape for the Olympic Trials. The hours of work, the need for surgery to relieve nagging issues in her shoulder and her knee. The cadre of people she depended upon to keep her swimming. The comeback after having a child. Facing the doubts that she did not have it in her.
And then there were 53.78 amazing seconds in swimming and sports history.
Congratulations to Dara for being dedicated enough to put it all out there on the line and to qualify as the oldest Olympic swimmer in history to participate in the games. I will be watching the games rather than boycotting my television.
Hope you had a great 4th of July,
Posted by CoachLiz at 4:46 AM