Taormina to Share the Dream
Olympic gold medalist and three-time Olympian Sheila Taormina (Livonia, Mich.) has long given back to the community in many ways including sport clinics and motivational speeches. After winning the Olympic gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., swimming the third leg of the 800m freestyle relay, Taormina bought an RV and toured the country giving swim clinics to kids. Taormina’s 1996 adventure inspired her to once again go RV-ing for a week in the fall of 2007, but this time she brought along four friends (three fellow Olympians and an Olympic hopeful); Cheryl Haworth (Savannah, Ga./2000 Olympic bronze medalist, 2004 Olympian and 2008 Olympic hopeful in weightlifting), Natalie Woolfolk (Arnold, Md./Colorado Springs, Colo./2008 Olympic hopeful in weightlifting), Shannon Miller (seven-time Olympic medalist and most decorated gymnast in U.S. history) and Angela Ruggiero (three-time Olympic medalist – gold, silver and bronze in women’s ice hockey). Taormina dubbed the three city tour, the “Sharing the Dream” tour. The stops in Taormina’s hometown of Livonia, Mich., Trenton, Mich. and Houghton, Mich. were the pilot and kick-off for what Taormina plans to expand around the country in the future.
Taormina will be bringing her “Sharing the Dream” message to Boston, Mass. where she will be a featured presenter at the United States Pony Clubs, Inc. Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 26, 2008.
“The Sharing the Dream tour idea came to me after about ten years of me going to speak to students, sports clubs and doing swim clinics with young athletes,” said Taormina. “Over the years, I have met and worked with several other female athletes from different sports and talked to them about their training habits, what they eat, took note of their size and shape and I realized how diversified athletes really are in how they approach things. I thought this would be a really neat message to get out there to kids to show them that you don’t have to fit one mold to go to the Olympics or reach the professional level in something. The message that I want to share with the Pony Club convention is the same. The Pony Club oversees the sport of Tetrathlon, which is very similar to pentathlon other than it does not include fencing. I really want to share with the group the importance of physical fitness especially as it relates to sports with multiple disciplines.”
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