Gator great Torres named to U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame

Olympic great Dara Torres. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — 12-time Olympic medalist and former Gator All-American swimmer Dara Torres was named a member of the 2019 U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame Class by the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee on Monday.

One of the most decorated swimmers ever, Torres became the first American to swim at five Olympics (1984, ’88, ’92, 2000 and ’08), winning a total of 12 medals (four gold, four silver and four bronze) over her Olympic career. From 1982-2007, she set eight American records and won 16 U.S. national titles.

As a Gator swimmer from 1986-89, Torres was 28-time All-American, a nine-time NCAA national champion, a seven-time conference title winner and two-time SEC female swimmer of the year. In 1988, Torres was named the NCAA Swimmer of the Year and SEC Athlete of the Year. She also earned a letter in volleyball team after joining the program during her final year at Florida.

Torres joins Tracy Caulkins (class of 1990) as the only former Gator swimmers in the Hall of Fame.

The class of 2019, made up of 14 individuals across 12 sports, will be inducted on Nov. 1 in Colorado Springs.

To be considered for induction, an athlete must be retired and out of Olympic competition for at least six years. The voting process happens every two years and includes nominations by several different groups, including fans. The nomination committee then makes the final decisions on the classes.

Also making the Hall of Fame with Torres: Nastia Liukin (gymnastics), track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Candace Cable, Erin Popovich, Chris Waddell (Paralympics), Lisa Leslie (basketball), Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball), Apolo Anton Ohno (short track speedskating), the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team), Ron O’Brien (diving coach) and Tim Nugent (special contributor).