Shalom Life | December 24, 2014

Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Dara Torres

Olympic Swimmer and Inspirational Writers, Dara Torres, speaks with SL.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: September 10th, 2011 in Culture » Society » Interviews

After the success of both our Top Jewish Artists and Top Jewish Models series, we have decided to bring you “Top Jews In Sports”. Over the next couple weeks, a new sports figure will be featured each day.

Since the previous format of asking all participants the same questions was so popular, we have decided to carry that over to this feature as well. Enjoy.

Day 9- Dara Torres

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, Dara 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, Dara has competed in 5 Olympic Games and has won 12 medals in her Olympic career. Her impressive performance in Beijing has inspired many older athletes to consider re-entering competition, including cyclist Lance Armstrong. Even after undergoing radical reconstructive surgery on her knee in fall of 2009, Torres has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Aside from her amazing accomplishments in the pool, Dara has other talents on dry land as well. 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, Dara won the ESPY award for Best Comeback and was named one of the Top Female Athletes of the decade by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Her memoir, "Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams At Any Stage In Your Life," was published in April, 2009 and was listed as one of the top 25 best-selling business books in the month of June. Her second book, "Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program" was released in May, 2010.

Olympian, author, mother, and role model, Dara Torres is many things to many people, but above all, she is an inspiration.

For more info on Dara visit www.daratorres.com

Ashley Baylen (AB): Was there a moment when you realized this would be a career instead of a hobby or passion?

Dara Torres (DT): Back when I was younger, being a professional athlete wasn’t considered a career for women. As I got older and I was still swimming well I realized it could definitely be a career.

AB: In your weak moments, what food item do you allow yourself to pig out on?

DT: Cupcakes.

AB: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

DT: There's nothing I enjoy more than playing with my daughter, Tessa. She just turned 5 and it's such a fun age.

AB: Rapid fire. First thing that comes to mind. What your favorite movie?

DT: Chariots of Fire

AB: Band?

DT: The Rolling Stones

AB: TV Show?

DT: Modern Family

AB: Gadget?

DT: HP Smart Touch Computer

AB: Was there ever a moment when you wanted to switch careers? If so, what career would you have chosen?

DT: I've always loved swimming and I've always loved television. I would really like a career in broadcasting.

AB: What do you regard as your biggest achievement?

DT: My biggest achievement is my daughter, Tessa. I am so proud to be her mom.

AB: You have unlimited funds to plan your dream vacation. Tell me about it. Who would you bring?

DT: My dream vacation would be a trip Fiji or somewhere with beautiful beaches and beautiful water where I could take my family.

AB: Share something about yourself that we may not know.

DT: I’m a big movie buff! I like to go to the movies in my spare time, I find it to be really relaxing.

AB: What's your biggest fear?

DT: My biggest fear is if something bad were to happen to someone in my family.

AB: Can you provide a piece of advice for anyone considering entering the world of sports?

DT: Never give up on your dreams and age is just a number, you are never too old to reach your goals.

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