Tara Kirk

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Tara Kirk
Personal information
Full name Tara Kirk
National team  United States
Born (1982-07-12) July 12, 1982 (age 38)
Bremerton, Washington
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Weight 143 lb (65 kg)
Sport Swimming
College team Stanford University

Tara Kirk (born July 12, 1982) is an American former competition swimmer and breaststroke specialist who is an Olympic silver medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke (short course).

She has won a total of fifteen medals in major international competition, three gold, seven silver, and five bronze spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, the Pan Pacific Championships, and the Summer Universiade.

Kirk was the contributor for Episode 18, Season 6 of What Not to Wear.[1]


Kirk is the former American Record holder in the 50-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter breaststrokes.[2] Kirk is the only woman to swim the 100-yard breaststroke in under 58 seconds (57.77). Kirk previously held the 100 short-course meter breaststroke world record at 1:04.79 but this was beaten by Leisel Jones on August 28, 2006. Kirk received the 1997–98 Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year, and the Honda-Broderick Cup for 2003-04, recognizing her as the top college female athlete in all sports.[3]

In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Tara won a silver medal by swimming for the second-place American team in the preliminary heats of the women's 4×100-meter medley relay.[4] Tara Kirk's younger sister, Dana Kirk, joined her on the 2004 USA Women's Olympic Swimming team, becoming the first set of sisters to swim on the same US Olympic Team.

2008 Olympic team controversy

Kirk finished third at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials by one-hundredth of a second and did not qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in the 100-meter breaststroke. Kirk had decided to not swim the 200-meter breaststroke in order to concentrate on the 100.

On July 21, 2008, the winner of the women's 100 breaststroke at the Trials, Jessica Hardy, was notified that she had tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance. Hardy subsequently left the USA's Olympic team on August 1, 2008, upon her initial hearing in front of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.[5] Unfortunately for Kirk, Hardy's departure from the team was too late for Kirk to be named a replacement to Hardy on the Olympic team or for Kirk to be entered to the 2008 Olympic organizers as a member of the USA team—the entry deadline for the Games had passed.

There was an issue regarding a delay of Hardy receiving her test results, and it was later determined that the lateness of the delivery of the test results was due to a lab error which logged Hardy's samples as "regular" rather than "expedited." Kirk filed a claim against USA Swimming to earn a berth on the team (while Hardy was still on the team, and before Hardy's official departure from the team on August 1), but the arbitrator in the case determined that at that time, no rules were violated.

See also


  1. "Episode 18, Season 6, Whatnot to Wear". Youtube. Retrieved 2011-09-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1476&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  4. "2004 Olympic Games swimming results". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Hardy fails drug test" (PDF). USADA. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2009-06-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Preceded by

Leisel Jones
Women's 100-meter breaststroke
world record-holder (short course)

March 18, 2004 – August 27, 2006
Succeeded by

Leisel Jones
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Leisel Jones
Mare Nostrum Tour Overall Winner
Succeeded by
Sophie Edington

Template:Footer Pan Pacific Champions 100m Breaststroke Women