Shelley Taylor-Smith (AUS)
2008 Honor Open Water Swimmer
FOR THE RECORD: 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (25K); Women's Number 1 World Ranking in Marathon Swimming: 1988- 1995; Honorary Secretary FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (2000-present); Author of Book Detailing Training and Mental Preparation for Swimming a Marathon;
Born in Perth, Australia in 1961, she was so passionate about swimming, she would sneak off to bed each night in her bathers. Not overly talented and diagnosed with crippling scoliosis, her determination over ruled what her doctors predicted and her swimming took off to heights which no one but she anticipated.
Her introduction to Marathon swimming began at the University of Arkansas in 1983. Her first professional race was in 1985 and by 1998, she retired as a seven-time World Marathon Swimming Champion. In 1991, she was the only woman of any sport, world wide, to hold the world’s number one ranking for both men and women. For seven consecutive years, 1988-1995, she was ranked as the number one World Marathon Swimming Champion in races ranging from 30 to 90 kilometers, set 15 world race records, scored 51 first places in international marathon swims, set the record for the around Manhattan Island Swim and swam the English Channel.
Shelley Taylor-Smith had become one of the world’s most coveted female marathon swimmers. From athlete to contributor, she has served since 2000 as Honorary Secretary for the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and was instrumental in the IOC’s decision to include the 10 kilometer swim in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She was a FINA Athlete Representative for 12 years. As Director and founder of Champion Mindset Consulting, she is a motivational teacher, mental toughness coach and international best selling author.