|Sheila Taormina to Participate in Shawnee Mission Triathlon on July 10|
A professional triathlete who is a three-time Olympic Games participant and swimming gold medalist is among those planning to compete in the 21st Annual Shawnee Mission Triathlon on July 10, Johnson County Park and Recreation District officials recently announced. The triathlon will take place beginning at 7 a.m. at Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa.
Sheila Taormina, 36, of Livonia, Mich., is one of the most-decorated triathletes ever and is being brought to the Shawnee Mission Triathlon with the assistance of the TriKC Triathlon Club. Taormina (pronounced Tar-meena) is the current ITU World Triathlon Champion, the 2003 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist, and the only woman to be on both the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens USA Triathlon Olympic Teams. In addition, she was a gold medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games in the 800-meter freestyle relay, where she helped set an Olympic record in the process.
Taormina qualified for the 2004 Triathlon Olympic team by winning the 2004 ITU World Triathlon Championships. She became the first U.S. athlete to win the ITU Triathlon World Championships since Siri Lindley in 2001. She finished second at the 2003 Pan American Games Triathlon and qualified for the 2003 U.S. Pan American Games team by winning the Clermont ITU International Triathlon. She finished in the top 10 in six of her eight 2001 ITU World Cup races, including her first World Cup victory in Cancun, Mexico.
Taormina is a graduate of The University of Georgia, where in 1992 she received a bachelor's degree in business administration, and in 1993 she added a master's of business administration. More recently, she has become a captivating and inspirational public speaker who has addressed groups for clients including United Parcel Service, Merrill Lynch, and the New York Times. Additional information about her can be found on her website at www.sheilat.com
Taormina announced her retirement from the sport of triathlon in following the 2004 Olympic Games, but has decided to come back for a few select races. Her appearance here will present a rare opportunity for participants to race side-by-side with this triathlon legend.
The Shawnee Mission Triathlon is sponsored by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. For more information, call (913) 831-3359 or register online at www.active.com through July 7.