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One for The Aged
Kelli Anderson
August 25, 2008
She didn't strike gold, but 41-year-old Dara Torres made quite a splash at the Water Cube anyway, swimming the fastest times in her 24-year career while winning three silver medals for the U.S.
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August 25, 2008

One For The Aged

She didn't strike gold, but 41-year-old Dara Torres made quite a splash at the Water Cube anyway, swimming the fastest times in her 24-year career while winning three silver medals for the U.S.

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But Torres was as much an object of awe as teasing among her teammates. "What she's doing is incredible," says Lezak, "and I thought what I've done at 32 was pretty good."

History, and the depth in U.S. swimming, suggest that the U.S. Olympic team of 2012 will be a mix of this team's still-young stars—like Phelps, 23; Lochte, 24; Katie Hoff, 19; and Coughlin, who turns 26 this week—as well as a flock of new faces. But Torres's example will no doubt inspire others to reconsider retirement or plot out a longer arc for their careers. Kara Lynn Joyce, a 22-year-old who finished half a second behind Torres in the 50 free, didn't seem disappointed to lose to someone who is old enough to be her mother. "It gives me hope for another 20 years," she says.

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