Jewish-American swimmer Dara Torres won a silver medal in the Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay on Sunday, August 10. This is her 10th Olympic medal, and makes her the oldest medalist in Olympic Swimming.
Since it’s been 24 years since she won her first medal, she has tied the all-time record for medal-winning timespan for female athletes (held by Birgit Fischer of Germany).
She is also the first swimmer in Olympic history to win a medal at five different Olympic Games.
Torres’ father was Jewish, but she also converted before marrying Israeli surgeon Itzhak Sasha. She was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
“There are a lot of middle-aged women and men who tell me that I am an inspiration to them,” Torres said, “and that they are doing things that they never thought they would do.”
Unfortunately, not all news from the Water Cube on day two of the Olympics was so inspiring. An Iranian swimmer pulled out of his 100m breatstroke heat today, minutes before competing with Israeli Tom Beeri, despite earlier reassurances from the Iranian NOC that he would participate.
The water doesn’t know your age, but it seems to care if you’re Israeli.
At least Beeri went on to set a national record and a personal best.