NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Dara Torres is many things to many people, but with five Olympic Games and 12 medals, she is above all an inspiration.

She’s also an Olympian, an author, a mother, and a role model. She joined CBS2’s The Couch to give her secret on how she keeps going – even after she didn’t make the cut to join the swimmers as they competed in London over the summer.

“I enjoy being there, cheering on my teammates and watching them swim– they did a fabulous job both inside and outside the water. But it was tough, I wanted to be there competing and on the deck and in the pool.”

89548894 102 Olympian Dara Torres Visits The Couch

Dara Torres (credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite no longer competing, Torres tries to stay in shape both physically and mentally.

“People ask me how do you have this passion, where’s it come from, and I always think it’s from within, and I think one of the reasons why I have such passion for my sport is because I step away from the sport for a while.” she said.

“I never meant to retire for so many years so many times, it’s just I thought I was done, I thought I’d move on with my life and when you’re away from the sport you miss it so much and you just have this passion for it and you just want to get back and swim again.” said Torres.

Torres says she routinely struggles with skin care, as pool chemicals are not kind to her.

“Amlactin is my best kept secret, […] my skin is always so dry, now I live in New England and it’s dry up there, I’m from Florida, so I’m not used to being around dry weather,” she said.

Torres suggests young swimmers keep having fun, but has some advice for the rest of the family: “You always tell the parents to add other things into their life so they don’t get bored with what they’re doing.”

For more, check out the video below.

Watch & Listen LIVE