Our guest today is the most decorated female US Olympic athlete in history. She’s a five-time Olympian, representing the US from the age of just 15 to the age of 41. She is a 12-time Olympic medalist and one of three women with the most Olympic swimming medals. In 2019, she was inducted in the US Olympic Committee Hall of Fame. Dara Torres is a mother, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. Dara is a highly sought after guest, and today she’s on the show to talk about her triumphs as well as the obstacles she’s overcome along her journey. She touches on her experiences with aging, injury, insecurities, eating disorders, and even bullying. As a mentor and a mentee, Dara can teach us all how to be the exception.
Dara is the first woman in history to swim in the Olympics past the age of 40. For many athletes, they are focused on the results and the accomplishments that come along with competition. Dara’s experience was different. She was competing to prove to herself and the rest of the people watching that she is capable of performing at the highest level at any age.
As a young swimmer, Dara’s biggest influence was another swimmer named Jill Sterkel. She held the record that Dara broke when she was 15. Going into the games, Dara didn’t swim very well. There was discussion for Jill to replace her, which took a toll on Dara’s headspace. Nonetheless, Jill took Dara under her wing and made sure she was taken care of. It’s not about what a person has accomplished to be a mentor, Dara says, it’s about the kind of person they are.
Dara has inspired so many young women and young swimmers with her story. Today, she tries to inspire some of the older crowd. Uplifting middle aged people deserve to be motivated in the same way. Sharing her trials and tribulations as an adult can have an impact on people just as much as her struggles as a young person.
Dara shares her battle with bulimia and the mental shifts she made throughout her college career that formed her into the woman she is today.
OTHER TOP QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
- “I knew I gave everything I had and I couldn’t be upset about that.” – Dara Torres