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Record-setting Olympic swimmer Dara Torres calls it a career

July 03, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • Dara Torres waves to the crowd after finishing fourth in the 50-meter freestyle at the Olympic trials on Monday in Omaha.
Dara Torres waves to the crowd after finishing fourth in the 50-meter freestyle… (Frederic J. Brown / AFP /…)

Dara Torres became the first American to swim in five Olympics and the oldest female swimmer ever at the Games when she took part in the Beijing Games at age 41 back in 2008. Her 12 Olympic medals are tied with Jenny Thompson for the most ever by a U.S. female swimmer.

She won't get the chance to add to those numbers after falling just short of making the U.S. team on the last night of the trials in Omaha on Monday night and announcing her retirement soon after.

“This is really over,” the 45-year-old Torres said, smiling. “That's it, I'm going to enjoy some time with my daughter, have a nice summer and cheer on the U.S. team from afar.”

After bringing home three silver medals from Beijing, Torres underwent radical knee surgery for one last chance at Olympic glory. That dream ended Monday night when she finished fourth in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 24.82, which was actually an improvement over the trial-winning time of 24.90 in 2000.

Instead, 25-year-old Jessica Hardy won this year's trial in 24.50 seconds, with 26-year-old Kara Lynn Joyce claiming the other Olympic spot with a time of 24.73.

"I don't think there's anything I could have changed,” said Torres, whose first Olympic Games were in her hometown of Los Angeles in 1984. “You got to look at it realistically. As much as I want to win and I wanted to make the team, that's pretty good for a 45-year-old.”

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