What does 14 and 41 have in common? Both numbers have set records. 14 was the age of Amanda Beard as she became the youngest female swimmer to ever win a gold medal. 41 is the age of Dara Torres as she enters her 5th Olympic Games. I have put together three of my favourite quotes from Amanda Beard and Dara Torres to show the admiration of these two Olympic stars and celebrate the upcoming 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Amanda is a 7-Time Olympic Medalist, a model with numerous magazine covers, and a national spokesperson for various companies. Amanda Beard became the second-youngest gold medalist in USA Swimming history (only Pokey Watson was younger than Amanda in 1964 winning the 400m free relay gold at 14 years and 96 days old) by winning her first Olympic gold, swimming on the medley relay. She is also a five-time U.S. national champion and has set an American record in the 200m breaststroke during a World Cup in 2002. Amanda Beard will be entering her 4th Olympic Games this summer in Beijing.
(1) "I hope that looking back at my career and as other people look back at my career I hope that I've opened a lot of doors and opportunities for other people. I know a lot of people get on my case a lot because I've done a lot of things outside of the pool I'm trying to open doors I'm trying to create more interest in swimming and bring more sponsors into the sport so swimmers that are coming up behind me can have a career in it."
(2) "I concentrate on preparing to swim my race and let the other swimmers think about me, not me about them."
(3) "When I look back on it, it's fuzzy - like a dream. I can't really remember everything; it's just like a childhood memory to me. I didn't know too much about what was going on, I just kind of swam. Sure, there was publicity going on about me being so young, and it's really weird to be 14 and have all that stuff happening to you, but then again, you're so young and childish you sort of blow it off." (on her 1996 Olympic experience)
Dara Torres is the first American swimmer to compete at four Olympic Games and has racked up a total of nine Olympic medals - 4 gold, 1 silver, and 4 bronze. Dara successfully competed at the 1984, 88, 92 and again at the 2000 Olympic Games. She is now breaking her own record with her 5th Olympic Games in Beijing this summer.
(1) "When I first started, people said I was an inspiration, but I think it's been a complete 180 turn. I have so many people coming up to me now and telling me about their stories and what's changed in their lives, and I feel like I'm getting inspiration from other people."
(2) "The water doesn't know what age you are when you jump in, so why not?" (commenting on entering her fifth Olympics at age 41)
(3) "They may become harder to achieve, but your dreams can't stop because you've hit a certain age or you've had a child."
I'll be supporting both swimmers back here at home and wishing them luck this summer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
ABOUT THE WRITERS
David Leonhardt and Corey Rozon are Canadian freelance ghostwriters.
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