SwimmerÂ Dara TorresÂ won 12 Olympic medals over a nearly 25-year span from age 17 to 41.
But success in the pool early on in her career hid struggles with a serious eating disorder. Torres talks about that in-depth for the first time in a documentary that airs on the SEC Network on Monday called â€œOnce Upon A Comeback.â€
As a swimmer at the University of Florida during the â€˜80s, Torres says she faced pressure from coaches, particularly Randy Reese, to lose weight. At the time, the coaches didnâ€™t know a lot about eating disorders, she says.
One coach wanted the team to look intimidating to competitors on the starting blocks and set a weight goal for the swimmers to meet, she says. If someone didnâ€™t make weight, they had to do extra workouts.
â€œFor me personally, having come from a background where I’ve never trained like that before in my life, to have to do extra workouts was just, that wasn’t going to happen for me,â€ she says. â€œAnd one thing led to another. I sort of got in this habit of bingeing and purging in my freshman year, and that’s kind of how it all started and just sort of snowballed from there.â€See WBUR