|Full name||Tara Kirk|
|National team||United States|
July 12, 1982|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Weight||143 lb (65 kg)|
|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 is the former American Record holder in the 50-meter, 100-meter, and 200-meter breaststrokes. Kirk is the first 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.
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. 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. 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.
- List of Olympic medalists in swimming (women)
- List of Stanford University people
- List of World Aquatics Championships medalists in swimming (women)
- World record progression 100 metres breaststroke
- "Episode 18, Season 6, Whatnot to Wear". Youtube. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1476&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US. Missing or empty
- Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- "2004 Olympic Games swimming results". CNN. Retrieved 2007-07-22.
- "Hardy fails drug test" (PDF). USADA. 2008-08-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
| Women's 100-meter breaststroke
world record-holder (short course)
March 18, 2004 – August 27, 2006
| Mare Nostrum Tour Overall Winner