Olympic icon Dara Torres is considered one of the greatest female competitive swimmers of all time. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympic Games a few years later in 1984. At the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, Dara became the oldest swimmer ever to compete in the Olympic Games at age 41. She took home three silver medals, including the heartbreaking 50-meter freestyle race where she missed another gold medal by a mere 1/100th of a second. America has fallen in love with Dara for her astonishing accomplishments and her composure in the face of defeat.

Dara has competed in an unprecedented five Olympic Games and won a total of 12 Olympic medals. Her impressive performance in Beijing and her attempt at the 2012 London Olympic Games has inspired many older athletes to consider reentering competition. Her incredible strength, endurance and dedication to health and fitness have also made her a role model for women of all ages who strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In addition to her amazing feats in the pool, Dara has been a regular guest on top TV and radio networks such as Fox News, ESPN, CNN, Today, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Good Morning America. She was the first female athlete ever to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, won the 2009 ESPY award for “Best Comeback” and was named one of the “Top Female Athletes of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated.

Her memoir Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life (April 2009) was listed as one of the top 25 best-selling business books less than a month after it was published. Her second book, Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program, was a New York Times best seller.

Since its inception in 1989, the Jack Maddox Distinguished Lecture Series has been hosted by University of the Southwest. The purpose of the series is to contribute to the quality of life in Lea County, New Mexico and the surrounding area by providing nationally recognized speakers for intellectual stimulation and entertainment. Admission to the lectures is free; however, you must have a ticket to attend.

Ms. Torres will be signing books in the lobby after the event. You may bring your own Dara Torres book to have signed or you can purchase one of her books in the lobby before or after the event.