Dara Torres, 41, became the oldest swimming medalist in Olympic history on Sunday. She has twice retired from swimming and has a 2-year-old daughter, but keeps returning to the sport to add to her medal collection.
"The water doesn't really know what age you are, so it doesn't really matter when you hit the water what age you are," Torres said after anchoring the U.S. team in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay, Reuters reports. "I'm hoping that my age paves the way for other athletes, who maybe think they are too old to do something, to get back in or continue in the sport."
In her wake, Torres leaves the previous record holder: Britain's William Robinson, who was 38 when he won the silver in the 200 breaststroke in the 1908 Games. Swimming phenomenon Michael Phelps, 23, jokingly refers to Torres as Mom. (Torres won her first Olympic medal the year before Phelps was born.)
Lapping the age barrier, however, hasn't come effortlessly or cheaply. Torres employs a head coach, a sprint coach, a strength coach, two stretchers, two masseuses, a chiropractor, and a nanny, at the cost of at least $100,000 per year, the New York Times reports. But the investment has netted Torres 10 Olympic medals to date as a member of five different Olympic teams. She will try for No. 11 in the 50-meter freestyle on Friday.
Although I can't detect any streaks of gray in her hair from her pictures, the color of Torres's latest (but I won't say last) medal is appropriately silver.