Olympic Gold Medalist Dara Torres Shares The Benefits of Swimming For Children (And Adults)


The benefits of swimming are hard to beat. Not only does it allow you to have a high performance workout, but it eliminates any additional stress to your body. It also helps you tone muscles and build endurance. Plus, it’s fun to simply splash around in the water. That’s something that Dara Torres, a 12-time Olympic medalist, knows all too well. Torres shared her tips on the benefits of swimming and whether her daughter, Tessa, has taken to the water like her champion momma has.

Dara Torres Shares The Benefits Of Swimming

“Despite the obvious benefits of swimming, it seems like many parents choose other sports for their kids. In fact, research shows that nearly 80% of parents who haven’t been exposed to swim teams overlook swimming as a youth sports option once their kids learn to swim and rank other sports higher in terms of health & fitness, teamwork and fun. On the other hand, parents and kids who try it, like it, and rank it higher than other sports in those same categories. This highlights the fact that most parents who don’t choose swimming, skip over it because they don’t know enough about it.”

Will Dara Torres’ Daughter, Tessa, Follow In Her Famous Mother’s Footsteps?

As a lifelong swimmer and now the mother of an eight year old who loves to swim, I always get asked whether I want my daughter Tessa to follow in my footsteps and become an Olympic swimmer. If you ask Tessa, she’ll tell you that is exactly what she wants to be. But for me, like a lot of parents, I introduced her to swimming because I wanted her to be safe around water. It’s a bonus that she fell in love with the sport. I’m happy she found something she has so much fun doing and because I know firsthand how much she’ll learn and how the sport will positively impact her health for years to come, regardless of how far she decides to take it.

Olympic Gold Medalist Dara Torres

Swimming Offers A Skill Set That Can Help Kids Throughout Their Lives

From a fitness perspective, swimming is one of the best total body workouts she can get and the rate of injury is so low, I don’t worry about her getting hurt. More importantly, swimming is giving her a skill set she will be able to use for the rest of her life – from teamwork, confidence, and self esteem to focus, discipline and time management. And most of all, I know she is having fun. My best memories as a kid were piling into the back of a station wagon with pillows and blankets, going to swim meets with my friends and our parents, cheering each other on, loving the camaraderie and having a blast.  I’m excited for her to have these kinds of experiences.

As a parent, Torres says that the most important thing when choosing an activity for her daughter is what she’ll get out of it – now and in the future.  “Considering how much fun I had swimming as a kid, how much I learned from it and how, at 47, I’m still able to enjoy it and reap the health benefits, I hope more parents will realize the benefits of swimming are hard to beat.”

Dara Torres is a five-time Olympian, competing in her first international swimming competition at age 14. In total, Dara won 12 medals throughout her entire Olympic career. She is the spokesperson for USA Swimming’s SwimToday campaign to educate parents on the benefits of swimming. More information at www.swimtoday.org.

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