It may be misplaced optimism but I want to believe. It is 2008 and Dara Torres is forty one years old. She is swimming and trying to qualify for a spot on the U.S. national Olympic swim team that goes to Beijing.
Yes, I remember how Marion Jones swore that she never used drugs to enhance her performance.
Dara Torres has nine Olympic medals. She is a mother of a toddler. At forty one, she is not expected to compete at this level. There are swimmers half her age, and even younger, trying for a spot on the national team and a ticket to Beijing.
I remember how Marion Jones apologized for using drugs – how she lied and how she deceived those who wanted to believe.
Dara Torres is in the 100 freestyle finals. There she will race against Natalie Coughlin. Perhaps racing against Natalie Coughlin will pull out the very best performance that Dara Torres has. Perhaps Dara Torres is that unique athlete who can fast and drug free at forty one. – I want to believe this is one of those singular athletic achievements that make people rethink what can be achieved in one’s forties. It is just that I am having a difficult time forgetting Marion Jones.