At just over 5’2” tall, and not having made her first Olympic team until the age of 27, Sheila Taormina seems an unlikely candidate to have competed at four consecutive summer Olympiads in three completely different sports (swimming, triathlon, and modern pentathlon). Her first two attempts to qualify for the Olympics in swimming (1988 and 1992) came up short, during what were considered her “peak” years. Following those years she moved forward with her education, finishing her Master’s degree in Business in 1994, and then began her professional career in the automotive industry that same year, working a full-time salaried position in Detroit.
With a love for swimming and her eyes set on the possibilities of 1996, she trained before and after work with her small hometown swim team in Livonia, Michigan. There were no corporate endorsements fueling the effort – just a plan, hard work, and a coach who believed along with her. Sheila learned about technique, efficiency, and the keys to success. Applying those throughout the years, Sheila grew to become Olympic champion in one sport, world champion in another sport, and the world cup standings leader in a third sport. In the end, Sheila has experienced six completely different disciplines on the Olympic stage – swimming, cycling, running, pistol shooting, fencing, and equestrian show jumping.
At present Sheila travels as a motivational speaker for businesses, schools, and non-profit organizations, and coaches swimming & triathlon clinics worldwide based on the techniques in her best-selling Swim Speed Secrets series of books.
Swimming 1996 * Triathlon 2000 & 2004 * Modern Pentathlon 2008