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Dara Torres

Swimmer Dara Torres On a Quest to Join Her Sixth Olympic Team!

Written on December 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm , by

Dara Torres hits the pool five times weekly to prepare for the London Games. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Mead Cross/Bengay)

Dara Torres has been one of our heroes here at FITNESS for years. She even appeared on the cover a couple times in the ’90s! But this 44-year-old fit mom is out to prove that age is just a number and is training to compete in her sixth—yes, sixth—Olympic Games.

We had to ask: Will there be seven? “This will be my last try at the Olympics, no matter what. Going back to 1984, I had always thought that would be my last swim, but I mean it this time,” says Torres, who was in town as a BENGAY Brand Ambassador.

As she prepares for her final quest for Olympic hardware (she already has twelve medals), we sat down with Torres to learn more about her training, her hobbies and the other swimmer in her house.

You recently had surgery—how are you feeling?

I took a year off after the 2009 World Championships to have a cartilage transplant in my knee. It really helped with my quality of life—I can now walk without pain and train again. But I never completely stopped. I would do pull-ups with my crutches resting against a nearby bench! Being fit is so important to me. Exercises relieves stress, gives me energy and I like the way I look because of it.

Speaking of that training, what does a typical week look like for you?

I train five days a week while my daughter is in school and take Thursdays and Sundays off. I swim for two hours, spend 60 to 90 minutes in the weight room and do 45 minutes of leg rehab, including Ki-Hara resistance stretching for recovery.

So the 2012 Olympics are in seven months! How do you feel?

The trials are at the end of June and beginning of July. I’m training for that now, or as I like to say, “I’ve been training for this since I was eight!” My Olympic prep really began in August 2010. I’ll be 45 by the Olympics, so tapering before trials is important, but I can’t rest quite as much as I used to because I lose muscle quicker at my age.

For Dara’s pick for the next great swimmer and her favorite pool-free activities, Read more