Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honors Shelley Taylor-Smith

Courtesy of Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Chris Guesdon and Gary Toner announced Shelley Taylor-Smith as a member of the inaugural Class of 2020 in the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

They explained, “Our next inductee into the Australian Marathons Swimming Hall of fame is Shelley Taylor-Smith. Shelley is Australian representative swimmer number 406 for representing Australia at the 1991 FINA World Swimming Championships in Perth in the 25 km. Shelley claimed gold in this event to become the world champion. Shelly went on to win many events around the world in addition to being an author, a coach, a motivational speaker, a FINA representative (FINA Athletes Committee and the Technical Open Water Swimming Committee), and a handler for open water swimming.

Shelley Taylor-Smith for seven consecutive years, she was the women’s World No.1 Ranked Marathon Swimming Champion from 1988 to 1995.

1990 – Australian Open Water Swim Team Maratona del Golfo Capri-Napoli, 1st woman – 36 km gold medalist
1991 – 6th FINA World Swimming Championships Perth, Australia – 25 km gold medalist
1991 – Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Alberta Canada – 10 km gold medalist
1992 – Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Roberval, Canada – medical emergency withdrawal
1993 – Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Terracina, Italy – 10 km gold medalist
1994 – 7th FINA World Swimming Championships, Rome, Italy – individual bronze medal, team gold medal
1996 – FINA World Cup, Lake Evian, France – individual silver medal, team gold medal
1997 – Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, Fukuoka, Japan – individual gold medal, team gold medal

Open Water Swimming Achievements:
Swim thru Perth 3-mile Swan River – 1st place overall, 12 years old
Australia Day 1973 – Perth, Australia, a handicapped race. Started off scratch – off zero final competitor
Women’s American 4-mile Open Water Record – Beaver Lake, Arkansas, October 1983
Women’s American 4-mile Open Water Relay Record – Beaver Lake, Arkansas, October 1983 (still stands)
Western Australian and Australian National Open Water Swimming Female Champion – 9 years
15 km FINA World Cup Champion 1988 gold medalist, Evian, France
25 km, World Champion 1991 gold medalist, Perth, Australia
Australia World Open Water Swimming Champion Team (no medal), Perth Australia
25 km, bronze medalist, Rome, Italy 1994
Australia World Open Water Swim Champion Team, gold medalist, Rome, Italy 1994
25 km FINA World Cup silver medalist, Evian, France, 1996
Australia FINA World Cup Champion Team, gold medalist, Evian, France, 1996
Pan Pacific Swimming Champion 25 km 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997
1st Western Australian (8th Australian) English Channel crossing in 1990
International Marathon Swimming Association World Series 1991 World No.1 Ranked Overall Marathon Swimming Champion men & women, only woman in the history of sport worldwide
International Marathon Swimming Association World Series Women’s World No.1 Ranked Marathon Swimming Champion 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994-1995
51 first place international caps, IMSA and FINA from 1985 to 1995
Holder of 15 World Race Records – 9 still stand
Annual Around Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, 5-time first place overall Champion and 6-time women’s champion
Fastest around Manhattan Island solo October 1985 in 6 hours 12 minutes 28 seconds (men & women) reset both fastest and her own women’s record in 1995
Fastest around Manhattan Island solo swim July 1995 in 5 hours 45 minutes 25 seconds (men & women) that stood for 17 years

Contributions:
IMSA Athletes Representative 1990-1997
FINA Athletes Commission Representative 1998 & 1999
FINA Athletes Commission Chairman 1999 & 2000 (first female Athletes Chairman)
FINA TOWSC Honorary Secretary 2000-2009 (first & only female Honorary Secretary)
FINA TOWSC Member 2000-2013 (first female TOWSC member)
WOWSA Conference Open Water Swimming Specialist Presenter & Trainer – 6 conferences including Long Beach, United Nations, Long Beach, Scotland, San Francisco & Redondo Beach
WOWSA Awards Emcee – 8 conferences including Queen Mary, United Nations, New York City, Isle of Bute, Scotland, The Olympic Club, San Francisco & Redondo Beach, USA
USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Safety Conference Specialist Presenter – San Francisco, USA 2011
FINA Delegate at Open Water Swimming World Championships, 10 km FINA World Cups, and FINA World Marathon Swimming World Cups between 2000-2013; overseeing the event execution and athletes safety

Serving Australia & Oceania from 1990 to 2013:
First (and only) Female FINA TOWSC member
First (and only) Female Honorary Secretary between 2000 and 2009
First Female Chief Referee, FINA World Swimming Championships 2011 & 2012 in the Women’s 5 km and Men’s 25 km events
First Female Referee at Olympic Games – Men’s 10 km Marathon London 2012
First Australian (Oceania) member to serve as FINA Athletes Chairperson 1999
First Australian (Oceania) member to serve as FINA TOWSC Honorary Secretary between 2000 and 2009
First Female Australian (Oceania) member to referee at Olympic Games for the marathon swimming 10 km event, London 2012
First Female member of the Australian (Long Distance) Open Water Swimming Committee

Awards:
· Induction American Amateur Athletes Hall of Fame 1985
· Western Australian of the Year 1989 & 1991
· Australian of the Year finalist 1989 & 1991
· Australian Female Athlete of the Year 1991
· Western Australian Sports Federation Athlete of the Year 1991
· Western Australian Female Athlete of the Year 1991
· MV Shelley Taylor-Smith Ferry 1997
· Bronzed Shelley Taylor-Smith Plaque 1998
· Australian Sports Centenary Medal 2000
· Australian Swimming Hall of Fame, Homebush 2000
· Induction International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame
· Induction International Swimming Hall of Fame 2008
· Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award for contribution to open water swimming 2008
· Induction Swimming Western Australia 2009
· Induction Western Australian Hall of Champions 2011
· Induction 50 Most Iconic Australian Women 2011
· Induction Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame 2011
· Induction Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame 2018
· Induction Arkansas Swim Team Hall of Fame 2018
· Induction Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame 2020

Shelley’s greatest personal achievement is not a title or an award; rather, as a result of achieving the IMSA World Series 1991 Marathon Swimming World No.1 Ranking for both men & women; in January 1992 the IMSA created separate rankings and equal prize money for both genders… and that is Shelley’s global legacy for women in sport.

In her capacity as the FINA TOWSC Honorary Secretary between 2000 and 2009, she served as administrator, coordinator, technical officer and delegate at FINA Marathon Swimming World Cups from 2000 to 2013 in Italy, UAE, Canada, USA, Indonesia and Australia. She coordinate the FINA Open Water Swimming World Championships in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010, the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, trained technical officials for FINA World Cups in Canada and USA, trained the technical officials for Marathon 10 km event for the 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympic Games, coordinated the inaugural 10 km Marathon Swim event in Beijing Olympic Games 2008 with the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee 2008 and become first female Chief referee at FINA World Championships in Roberval, Canada in 2010, Shanghai 2011 and Barcelona 2013. At London Olympic Games 2012 first female referee in Marathon Swimming 10 km event.”

Taylor-Smith explains her career, “Of course, my proudest moment will always remain my most memorable; being the inclusion of the 10 km marathon swim event into the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.

My greatest personal achievement is not a title or an award; rather, as a result of achieving the IMSA World Series 1991 Marathon Swimming World No.1 Ranking for both men & women; in January 1992 the IMSA (sport’s governing body) created separate rankings and equal prize money for both genders.”

She is currently an internationally accredited open water swimming coach in Perth, Australia. Her Team STS squad and Open Water Swimming Mastery launched in 2011 by accident when gold medalist Bill Kirby said, “Help me save my marriage by coaching the Rotto Solo squad.” Ten years on, she has coached 379 Rottnest Channel solo successors with a 97.55% success rate. Shelley’s mission to turn every human being into an open water soul, sea swimming for their mental health and overall well-being.

She is an author of a book that details Training and Mental Preparation for Swimming a Marathon; a passionate coach, and has a ferry named after her in Perth.

For her career summaries, visit here and here.

The inaugural class of Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honourees inducted on August 2020 include:

Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honourees – Class of 2020:
* Jennifer Anderson
* Lauren Arndt
* David Bates
* Clive Berry Rickards
* Kate Brookes-Peterson
* Roger Bruce
* Tamara Bruce
* Richard Campion
* Brendan Capell
* Graeme Carroll
* Cavill Family
* Melissa Cunningham
* William Ford
* Melissa Gorman
* Trent Grimsey
* Christopher Guesdon
* Susanne Guesdon
* Kevin Holtom
* Annette Kellerman
* Tracy Knowles
* John Koorey
* Susie Maroney OAM
* Chloë McCardel
* Linda McGill MBE
* Joseph Mitchell
* Lynton Mortensen
* David O’Brien OAM
* Penny Palfrey
* James Pittar
* Des Renford MBE
* Grant Robinson
* Rottnest Channel Swim Association
* Mark Saliba
* Josh Santacaterina
* Shelley Taylor-Smith
* Gary Toner
* Suzanne Toner

For more information, visit the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Facebook here with Instagram @amshofame.

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