Sheila Taormina

Sheila Christine Taormina (born March 18, 1969)[1] is an American former athlete who competed at four Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008), and was the first woman to qualify for the Olympics in three different sports (swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon).[2] At the 1996 Summer Olympics, she earned a gold medal as a member of the winning U.S. team in the women's 4×200-meter freestyle relay. She was inducted in 2015 into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.

Sheila Taormina
Personal information
Full nameSheila Christine Taormina
National team United States
Born (1969-03-18) March 18, 1969
Livonia, Michigan
Height5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Weight119 lb (54 kg)
College teamUniversity of Georgia

Personal life

Born in 1969, Taormina is one of eight children, and is a twin.


While swimming for the Georgia Bulldogs swimming and diving team, Taormina earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1992 and a Master of Business Administration in 1994 from the University of Georgia (UGA). She captained Georgia's 1991 team, won All-America honors all four years of her collegiate career and won the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title in the 400-meter individual medley as a senior. She was the first UGA swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal and the first UGA athlete to make the Olympic team in multiple sports.[3]


Taormina competed at the first Olympic triathlon at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She took sixth place with a total time of 2:02:45.91. Her split times were 19:02.78 for the swim, 1:06:24.30 for the cycling, and 0:37:18.83 for the run.

In 2004, Taormina won the ITU Triathlon World Championship title while residing in Clermont, Florida. In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, she again competed in the triathlon. Her time was 2:09:21.08 as she finished in 23rd place.

Modern pentathlon

After Athens, Taormina embarked on a new sport, the modern pentathlon, winning the women's senior division of the 2005 Pan American Championships. She was successful in qualifying in the modern pentathlon for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, making her the first female athlete to qualify for the Olympics in three different sports. Taormina finished 19th in the 2008 Olympic event.

Teaching and writing

Taormina has dedicated time to teaching, coaching and conducting seminars around the world and has authored three top-selling guides: Swim Speed Secrets, Swim Speed Workouts, and Swim Speed Strokes.[4]

See also


  1. "Sheila Taormina". Archived from the original on 2008-09-08.
  2. Merrill, Elizabeth (August 22, 2008). "Taormina takes solace in knowing she didn't quit on her Olympic dream". ESPN. Retrieved March 19, 2011.
  3. Magill, Dan (August 8, 2000). "Taormina ready for Sydney triathlon". Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
  4. "Sheila Taormina". Velo Press. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
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