“I did it,”
Sheila Taormina told ESPN.com reporter Elizabeth Merrill after a
less-than-stellar showing at the Beijing Olympics. “I didn’t quit.”
But, for the then-39 1/2 year old, getting to the Summer Olympics in
2008 was nothing short of a record book entry. Having earned a gold
medal as part of a swimming relay team at the 2006 Summer Olympics
at Atlanta, Ga., she added cycling and running to her repertoire and
returned to the 2000 Summer Olympics in triathlon and again in 2004.
She finished 6th and 23rd, respectively.
Then, she added fencing, show jumping (equestrian) and shooting to
her arsenal to be the first female to qualify for the Olympics in
three disciplines: swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon.
Taormina might pen a book about her athletic adventures, according
to Merrill’s article. If so, we at Heartland Triathlon hope
she’ll remember to include a paragraph about the great people she
met in 2006, when she helped us make history with our first event
that set the tempo for every race we have put on since. In addition
to a filled-to-capacity Pasta Bash the night before the big race,
Sheila donned her swim cap, rode her bike and strode in her kicks as
part of the “Dream Team,” which came in second place to local Team
Broen (through no fault of Ms. Taormina).
Wherever Sheila’s endeavors take her now, she will always have a
special place in the heart of Heartland Triathlon.