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Sheila Taormina

Pentathlon

Pronunciation:                She-la Tar-meena
Height:                            5' 3"

University                        University of Georgia

Olympic Games: 

              2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, China - Pentathlon - 19th
              2004 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece - Triathlon - 23rd
              Place
              2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia - Triathlon -
              6th Place
              1996 OIympic Games, Atlanta, Ga., USA - Swimming -
              Gold Medal
              Women's 800m Freestyle Relay (set an Olympic record in 
              the process - with Trina Jackson, Christina Teusche 
              and Jenny Thompson)

World Championship:     2004 ITU World Championships, Madeira, Portugal - Triathlon - Gold Medal                                   

World Cup-Pentathlon:    2007 World Cup #2, Cairo, Egypt - Modern Pentathlon - Silver Medal

Medal Finishes:   2006 World Cup #1, Acapulco, Mexico - Bronze Medal                                 

Personal: Sheila Christine Taormina (pronounced Tar-meena) made sports history on June 1, 2008 when she became the first woman ever to qualify for the Olympic Games in three different sports (swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon).  This will be Taormina's fourth U.S. Olympic Team (1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008).  Taormina has already competed in the Olympic Games in the sports of swimming and triathlon.  A graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor's degree in Business and a Master's in Business Administration, she won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. swimming the third leg of the 800m freestyle relay.  Thinking her competitive sports career was over, Taormina returned to Michigan.  In 1998 she decided to enter the Waterloo Triathlon in Ann Arbor, Mich. for fun and won the women's race, placing sixth overall.  The race sparked a dream for Taormina of returning to elite competitive athletics in a second sport, which she did, making the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Teams in the sport of triathlon.  She finished sixth at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and 23rd at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece experiencing leg cramps during the bike ride.  Taormina won the 2004 International Triathlon Union World Championship.  While at a triathlon training camp at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in 2004, Taormina met modern pentathlete Eli Bremer in the swimming pool.  Bremer asked Taormina when she was going to switch to modern pentathlon and become the first woman to make a fourth U.S. Olympic Team in a third sport.  Taormina didn't think much about it at the time, but Bremer had put the idea in her head.  Following the 2004 Olympic Games, Taormina mulled over the idea of taking up a new sport, but wanted to try one of the winter variety, so she dabbled in cross-country skiing in Michigan for a while.  Realizing skiing wasn't for her, she decided to consider Bremer's sport and in June 2005 made a trip to San Antonio, Texas to try out for the U.S. Modern Pentathlon coaches.  The coaches were impressed and Taormina started down the pathway to a new Olympic dream which she has now reached.

Website: http://www.sheilat.com/

 

Modern Pentathlon Competition Record:

2008 Results:
World Championships - Elected not to compete
World Cup #5 in Kladno Czech Republic - 20th Place
World Cup #4 in Madrid, Spain - 34th Place
World Cup #3 in Millfield, England - Ninth Place
World Cup #2 in Mexico City, Mexico - Seventh Place
World Cup #1 in Cairo, Egypt - Eighth Place

2007 Results:
World Cup Final in Beijing, China - 32nd Place
World Championships in Berlin, Germany - Ninth Place
Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11th Place
World Cup #6 in Rome, Italy - 34th Place
USA Pentathlon Senior National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA - Elected not to compete
World Cup #5 in Szekefehervar, Hungary - Fifth Place
World Cup #4 in Moscow, Russia - Sixth Place
World Cup #3 in Millfield, Great Britain - Elected not to compete
World Cup #2 in Cairo, Egypt - Silver Medal
World Cup #1in Mexico City, Mexico - Fourth Place

2006 Results:
World Championships in Guatemala City, Guatemala - Did not advance past semifinals
U.S. Open and Senior Modern Pentathlon National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., USA - Gold Medal
World Cup Final in Chianciano, Italy - 10th Place
World Cup #6 in Chianciano, Italy - 30th Place
World Cup #5 in Cairo, Egypt - Elected not to compete
NORCECA/Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico - Seventh Place
World Cup #4 in Szekefehervar, Hungary - Fifth Place
World Cup #3 - 31st Place
World Cup #2 - Did not advance past semifinal
World Cup #1 in Acapulco, Mexico - Bronze Medal

2005 Results:
NORCECA/Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina - Gold Medal

Elite Triathlon Career: Finished 23rd at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece after suffering leg cramps for much of the race...Qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team by winning the 2004 ITU World Triathlon Championship on May 9...Was the first U.S. athlete to win the ITU World Triathlon Championship since Siri Lindley in 2001...Qualified for the 2004 world championship team by virtue of being ranked No. 2 in the U.S. at the time of selection...Finished second at the 2003 Pan American Games Triathlon behind Canada's Jill Savege...Qualified for the 2003 U.S. Pan American Games Team by winning the Clermont ITU International Triathlon...Finished in the top 10 in six of her eight 2001 ITU World Cup races, including her first World Cup victory in Cancun, Mexico...Had a 50-meter lead coming out of the water at the 2000 Olympic Games, but later dropped back during the bike and placed sixth...Was photographed giving high-fives to the crowd as she happily finished the Olympic race. ...Qualified for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team by winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials held May 27 in Irving, Texas ...Took the lead during the swim and never trailed ...Missed most of the summer 1999 races due to rhabdomyolysis, a muscle disorder...At her first World Cup event in Lausanne, Switzerland, Sheila was the first out of the water but put on somebody else's bike shoes in the transition area...Realized her mistake and was able to exit the transition with the first chase pack...Took a turn too fast and crashed two miles into the bike...Finished the race with her brakes rubbing her front wheel.

Amateur Triathlon Career: Entered a Splash ‘N Dash (swim/run event) race in Whitmore Lake, Mich., with her brother Mark in 1998 and won...Decided to try a triathlon later that summer, entering the Waterloo Triathlon, held in Ann Arbor, Mich...Won the women's race and placed sixth overall...Waterloo's race director, Lew Kidder, saw her potential and offered to train her for free...Kidder's wife is 1999 world age group triathlon champion Karen McKeachie.

Athletic Background: At 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., won a gold medal in the 800m freestyle relay (third leg), setting an Olympic record in the process (Trina Jackson, Christina Teuscher, Taormina, Jenny Thompson)...Had 25 family members in attendance...The relay team was photographed with U.S. President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton on the pool deck following the medal ceremony...Placed sixth in the 200m free at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team Trials to qualify for the Atlanta Games...Was the 1995 U.S. Open 200m free champion, and placed second in the 400m free...Competed at the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Trials, but did not make the team...Swam IM and butterfly events at Georgia...Was an NCAA All-American and Academic All-American all four years...Currently holds numerous masters world records in the 25-29 age group...Swam and ran track at Livonia Stevenson High School.