Sheila Taormina was on the swim team at the University of Georgia, making All-American for four straight years and winning the 400 IM at the Southeastern Conference Championships in her senior year. Taormina made the US Olympic swim team in 1996 and won a gold medal in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay. In 1999 she turned her swim and endurance talents to the triathlon and began competing internationally in that sport. She became one of the world’s top triathletes, winning three World Cup races, one each in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Her 2003 victory was in Madeira, Spain, and on that same course, she won the 2004 ITU World Championships. In 2005 she was also World Champion in the aquathlon (swimming and running). Taormina competed at the Olympics in both 2000 and 2004 in the triathlon, her best finish being sixth in 2000 in the Olympic race.
After the 2004 Olympics Taormina set her sights on another sport – the modern pentathlon. Her swimming talent and triathlon abilities helped her in the swim and run phases, but the other sports were new to her. But her obvious athletic talent served her well and she became a top international competitor. In early 2008 she qualified for the US Olympic modern pentathlon team, becoming the first woman to compete at the Olympics in three distinct sports.
Athlete Olympic Results Content