Two inspirational stories come from today's sports section of The Globe and Mail.

The first story is about a woman who while competing against competitors half her age didn't win gold at the Bejing Olympics but has won the hearts and minds of fans around the world. That woman is, of course, U.S. Olympic swimmer Dara Torres who while failing in her quest for gold may well have won something much more long lasting and precious.

Torres has found she has become an icon of what older people can do if they put their hearts, minds and bodies to the task. Constantly approached by people who almost never mention her second place finish in Bejing, Torres is being lauded wherever she goes.

And, by the way, she's had to raise her public speaking fee from $10,000 to $50,000 and there's a waiting list of groups and organizations that want to book her.

The other story comes from our past and it's about a man who was once called the fastest man on earth. Ben Johnson, whose world-record Olympic victory 20 years ago in Seoul, was stripped away when he was convicted of taking illegal substances, says he's now a family man who keeps his stress level at zero and is clearing up the negativity around him.

According to his former agent, Johnson likely lost over $4-million in endorsement opportunities and became a pariah in the sporting world. Today Johnson is writing his autobiography Seoul to Soul which he hopes to publish by the end of the year.