Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dara Torres Hits Jimmy Carter (Library and Museum)

A couple of weeks back, while surfing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution event calendar, it was fun to discover that five-time Olympian Dara Torres is visiting our fair city -- specifically The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum -- to showcase her new post-Beijing-penned book "Age Is Just A Number -- Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life" published by Broadway Books.

If you are in town on Wednesday evening, Torres will take questions and sign copies on site during the evening event.

So far, there was only time in my calendar to read the first couple of chapters of "Age Is Just A Number," but I'm liking what was written so far.

It's been fun to get the back story on some of Torres' prep for her final races in China, especially since my own Beijing experiences at the swimming venue included spotting Torres behind-the-scenes at The Water Cube during part of the training routine -- on-table stretches with her trainer -- described on the early pages of her book:

"... My plan for the remaining two hours before my race was to have my stretchers, Anne and Steve, mash -- or massage -- me with their feet, then swim again, then have Anne and Steve stretch me, and the put on the bottom half of my racing suit, with plenty of time remaining to lie on a massage table in the team area and listen to a bunch of rockers half my age sing a song called 'Kick Some Ass.' The mashing and the stretching were critical to my performance. All the other kids in the Olympics might have thought they could do their best by just swimming a little warm-up, pinwheeling their arms a few times and diving in. But not me. I was the same age as a lot of those athletes' mothers. Michael Phelps hand started calling me 'Mom" eight years earlier. I needed every advantage."

-- Dara Torres with Elizabeth Weil
"Age Is Just A Number" Prologue

I can't wait to speak with Torres about her Olympic experiences, and later this week will be sure to post video from The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum event experience.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos and video with this post, featuring Torres "mashing and stretching" with trainers (Anne and Steve?) in the "mixed zone" of The Water Cube (an area between the main pool and training pool where credentialed Olympic Family members could meet aquatics athletes during or after competition).

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