Our group is told there aren’t any available tables.Taking control of the situation, Torres wanders through the restaurant. Around her neck are two chains she wears for good luck when traveling.It is a balmy fall day just a few weeks post-Beijing Olympics.Inside the historic Hilton Hotel on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, guests and fans are swirling in a frantic frenzy like worker bees preparing the hive for its queen.After a seven year-drought from competitive swimming, Torres started training for the Olympics in the spring of 1999.In five months, she dropped her time to best the previous world record she’d set in the 50-meter freestyle more than 15 years earlier.Years later, she earned 28 All-American swimming honors at the University of Florida.
“I was a little too embarrassed to ask before I gave birth,” Torres says.
Of the more than 150 athletes brought in for the show, most have ended up here.
Included in the mix is 41-year-old Dara Torres, the record-setting five-time Olympic athlete who made news for competing in the 2008 Olympics as the oldest swimmer in the history of the games. Her striking pixie-cut hair, megawatt smile, and toned frame are the essence of athletic power.
At the time of this interview, Torres was one week post-shoulder surgery to correct a rotator cuff problem that has bothered her since 2000.
She also had knee surgery last year and a bone spur removed from her shoulder. Torres’ key to keeping fit is working her core, especially her abdominals.