Dara Torres: Age Is Just a Number

At a towering 6 feet, Olympic swimmer Dara Torres is a breathtaking composition of muscle, proportion and beauty. Yet, she’s no newbie.

Torres became the oldest medalist in swimming history at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She was 41 and beat all of her youthful records. This summer, she’ll break age barriers again when she dives into the London Olympics at the jaw-dropping age of 45.

But the 12-time medalist’s impressive talents aren’t just confined to the pool. She’s also the best-selling author of two books, Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life and Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program, and was the first female athlete featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Most importantly, she’s the mother of 6-year-old Tessa.

Here, three ageless reminders to turn your vision into a reality.

1. Draw inspiration from challenges. Do like Torres and let the hurdles and skeptics motivate your success. “When there’s an obstacle put in my path, I become motivated to get through it and defy the odds,” says Torres.

2. Find a cause that is greater than you. “After the 2008 Olympics, so many women told me I was an inspiration,” says Torres. “I think that’s what keeps me in the pool: continuing to remind people that age really is just a number.”

3. Believe in yourself. What does Torres hope her daughter and fans learn from her staggering success? That age brings experience and confidence. As the champ says: “Age works to my advantage, not my disadvantage.”

Photo: Getty Images

by Stephanie Eunice