But when she ran into her doctor in the gym a week and a half later, he told her she could start swimming again.
Now, Torres spends much of her time at her home in Parkland, Florida. As for the medals, at first Torres’ daughter didn’t want anything to do with them.
Her left wrist and hand are bandaged in a brace — the result of her smashing her hand into the pool wall during one of her three silver-medal races where she tried to out-touch her nearest competitor, Germany’s Britta Steffen, in the 50-meter freestyle, only to lose by 1/100th of a second. “But it was just an awesome feeling to be back there, having that adrenaline rush to be competing and racing the best in the world.” At this particular moment, Torres is concerned about getting a table at the now-packed Pavilion, a casual hotel-based restaurant that has a long line trailing into the hallway.
With Torres is a posse of friends and trainers, including Anne Tierney, one of Dara’s two personal stretchers.
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.
Taking control of the situation, Torres wanders through the restaurant. Around her neck are two chains she wears for good luck when traveling.
Torres and her partner, David Hoffman, gave birth to their daughter in April 2006.
Torres didn’t waste any time trying to get back into shape.
Seeing a few empty spots, she returns and implores the hostess to combine a few tables. On one is a pair of her father’s World War II dog tags.
The other — a necklace with an angel — is a good luck charm.