Helen and I have been watching the Olympics all night. Dara Torres just won her heat in the Women’s 50m freestyle. Before the race, she went over and spoke with one of the officials, an action that puzzled the announcers until they realized she was asking them to hold the race so Swedish competitor Therese Alshammar could change out of a torn swimsuit.
The announcers were falling all over themselves praising her sportsmanship. They have a point. Torres herself told an interviewer later, “In the pool we’re competitors; out of the pool we’re friends.” True enough; but then any of the other swimmers could have asked the officials to wait. What made Torres do so?
Just then Helen looked over at me and explained it all very simply: “She’s a mom.”