By now, everyone has heard the amazing story of 41-year-old Olympic silver medalist Dara Torres, but she might have had to share the glory if Hodding Carter had achieved his goal.
In 2004, at the age of 41, he was 20 years removed from being a Division lll college swimmer but hadn’t done much in the pool since. He had a young family, a writing career that stalled and his marriage was on the rocks. So he decided to try and make the 2008 Olympic team.
He’s written about his experience in the book, “Off the Deep End.” He tells Growing Bolder that swimming has always been a escape from his famous family (his father was President Carter’s State Department spokesman and his grandfather was a Pulitzer Prize winning writer) and he realized once he got back into the pool that he was better in his 40s than he was in his 20s.
Plus, he was really looking for a way to get his own kids excited about swimming, and he says his new commitment to the sport of his youth has changed his family’s lives forever.
Hodding says he’s feeling stronger now than he did in college and he said the knowledge that over-40 athletes can keep improving with age makes him feel that there’s no excuse not to try for it all now.