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Shelley Taylor-Smith

From Openwaterpedia
Shelley Taylor-Smith is a member of the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2020
Shelley Taylor-Smith, Champion Mindset® Consulting founder and speaker
Top row left to right: Marcia Benjamin, Shelley Taylor-Smith, Ger Kennedy, Lewis Pugh, Angel More, Antonio Argüelles, Dan Simonelli, Jessi Harewicz, Pat Gallant-Charette, Adrian Sarchet. Bottom row left to right: Steven Munatones, Ross Edgley, Aaron Peirsol, Ram Barkai at the 2018 Open Water Summit at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California
Shelley Taylor-Smith, a nominee for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category
On 27 August, 65-year-old Pat Gallant-Charette (USA) celebrating her 5th channelversary of her 15 hour 57 minute English Channel crossing, Shelley Taylor-Smith (Australia) celebrating her 21st channelversary of her 9 hour 27 minute English Channel crossing, and 82-year-old Montserrat Tresserras (Spain) celebrating her 53rd channelversary of her 21 hour 7 minute English Channel crossing at Varne Ridge near Dover
Shelley Taylor-Smith Winning Another International Competition
Shelley Taylor-Smith, champion marathon swimmer and noted keynote speaker
Author of Dangerous When Wet The Shelley Taylor-Smith Story, an autobiography by Shelley Taylor-Smith and Ian Cockerill
Shelley Taylor-Smith was inducted as an Honor Open Water Swimmer in the Class of 2008 in the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Shelley Taylor-Smith is an Australian pool and open water swimmer from Western Australia.

Open Water Swimming Highlights

Namesakes

  • The MV Shelley Taylor-Smith is a ferry boat in Western Australia named after Shelley Taylor-Smith.
  • Swimming Western Australia Honours and Awards Committee renamed its Multi-Class of the Year Award to the Shelley Taylor-Smith Medal in September 2021.

Background

"Shelley's passion for life is as intense as her passion for swimming." - Laurie Lawrence

As a young girl Shelley had a dream - to be like her role model Shane Gould and win a gold medal. Despite most of her school years in a back brace and spending three months in traction with partial paralysis when only 24 years old, Shelley never let go of her dream. Her coach told her "Do you know, you have the potential to be a World Marathon Swimming Champion?"

Shelley took up marathon swimming because it didn't require her to make those back-bending tumble turns and has since achieved what no other woman has in sport.

In 1998 Shelley was told she had six months to live. While swimming in polluted water she had picked up deadly parasites and giardia. The infections had manifested as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and she was warned that if she continued to push herself her system would completely fail and she would die. Six months later Shelley won the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim for a record fifth time and only then did she decide to retire from representing Australia.

Shelley's 'winner's attitude' and her motto: "If you don't quit - you will make it" translates into her everyday life and now she empowers others by sharing with them her greatest asset - The Champion Mindset - training our leaders of tomorrow to think and be Champions today!

Shelley is as dedicated out of the water as she is in it. Her charity work includes: Vice Patron of Life Education NSW and her 2 favourite youth charities - the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and Youth Off the Streets - to which she donates ALL profits from sales of her books.

Achievements

Shelley's achievements include:

  • She was the No. 1 ranking for six consecutive years in the Marathon Swimming Rankings.
  • She was ranked No. 1 at the 1991 World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit, overall for both men and women.
  • She set a total of 15 World Marathon Swim Records
  • She won four FINA World Championships 25 km gold medals.
  • She won four Pan Pacific Swimming Championship 25 km gold medals.
  • She won the 16 km race at the 1989 Australian Marathon Swimming Championships in 3 hours 17 minutes 42 seconds.
  • She won Manhattan Island Marathon Swim five times, breaking the record in 1995 for swimming the 48 km distance in 5 hours 45 minutes
  • She completed a solo 33.5 km English Channel crossing on 26 August 1990 in 9 hours 26 minutes (the first by a West Australian)

Triple English Channel Crossing Relay 1996

In her 15 years of international competition she has been awarded:

  • 4 times World and Australian Long Distance Swimmer of the Year
  • Australian Female Athlete of the Year
  • Guinness Book of World Records for fastest time overall in New York's 48K Manhattan Island swim
  • Guinness Book of World Records for her epic swim Sydney - Wollongong 69K record swim (smashing the record by more than 15 hours)
  • Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Medal 2002
  • Australian Sports Medal Recipient 2000
  • 'MV Shelley Taylor-Smith' Ferry, Perth Western Australia
  • Advance Australia Award
  • Australian of the Year Finalist 1989 & 1991
  • Australian Female Athlete of the Year 1991
  • World Long Distance/Open Water Swimmer of the Year 1988-1994
  • Australian Long Distance/Open Water Swimmer of Year 1991, 1994, 1996
  • Induction into USA Amateur Sports Hall of Fame
  • Nominated for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year category in the WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association
  • She is a member of the ISHOF Open Water Nomination Screening Committee.

She has also been awarded:

  • As a two-time finalist in the Australian of the Year Award
  • This Is Your Life recipient
  • The Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award
  • Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
  • National Dean's List of USA
  • The College of Education Dean's List USA
  • Gamma Beta Phi Honour Society
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Honour Society
  • Honorary Secretary FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee (TOWSC)
  • Australia Day Ambassador
  • Ambassador: Youth Off The Streets & Humpty Dumpty Foundation
  • Vice-Patron of Life Education (NSW)
  • Patron of Western Australian Open Water Swimming Association
  • Patron of Rottnest Channel Swimming Association
  • Clean Up Australia Day Spokesperson
  • Chairperson FINA Athletes Commission (1998-2000)
  • FINA Athletes Representative (1989-2000)
  • She was inducted in the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame in its Class of 2018.

1991 FINA World Championship 25 km Race Results

Held in Swan River in Perth, Australia
1 Shelley Taylor-Smith 5:21:06
2 Martha Jahn 5:25:17
3 Karen Burton Reeder 5:28:23
4 Rita Kovacs 5:31:33
5 Elana Resch 5:39:47
6 Tammy Van Wisse 5:42:53
7 Corinne Liedtke 5:48:58
8 Lenka Pacáková 5:57:35
9 Rita Lazar 6:00:22
10 Jolanda Palmentieri 6:21:17
11 Bridget Young 6:25:03
12 Anita Sood 6:26:56
13 Diana Simonović 6:28:21
14 Christiane Fanzeres 6:28:44
15 Carole Hunt 6:31:20
16 Marcia Marques 6:36:10
17 Katarina Mioč 6:40:15
18 Muna Towe 6:46:09
19 Daria Amaged 7:23:02

Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame Induction

Shelley is a marathon swimmer. Shelley is a pool and open water swimming legend from Western Australia who has been inducted in both the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2009 and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1989 for her exploits as a seven-time world professional marathon swimming champion with the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation. She held the professional women’s No.1 world ranking from 1988 to 1995. She set the world record for the 48 km (28.5-mile) Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 1995, a record which stood until recently. She earned an unprecedented overall No.1 world ranking on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit for both men and women in 1991. Shelley swam Traversee International du Lac Memphremagog (25 miles between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec) for many years in the hey-day of this storied professional swim in the 1980’s and 1990’s, repeatedly winning among the females, taking down many male competitors in the process and winning the swim outright one year. She holds the female record of 8 hours 46 minutes. She was an iconic presence on Lake Memphremagog with her wonderful, fiery competitive spirit. You simply cannot talk about the history of this iconic professional swim without talking about Shelley Taylor-Smith and her presence on this lake. She also has a ferry boat named after her in Western Australia.

Business Acumen

Shelley founded Champion Mindset® Consulting that works with small businesses and individuals to achieve success and peak performance removing the blockages that stop people from achieving.

Creating Champion Mindsets and empowering people to become Champions in their own world is Shelley’s biggest passion and life mission. She has worked with major corporations through to long term unemployed and Olympic athletes. The common link with these extreme groups is often a loss of focus, not knowing what they want and a belief that you have to be one of the lucky few to be a Champion and have the life you have always dreamed of.

Coaching

Shelley teaches first-hand her passion for open water swimming and can turn your love-hate relationship around so you too will be the Master of your next Open water swimming competition. She provides:

  • OWS Clinics from Beginners to Advanced in corporation with Swimming WA
  • Come and be race ready for your next event, Novice or Ironman with OWS Clinics for TRIATHLETES
  • Group Squad Coaching for the 2011 Rottnest Channel 20km Solos & Duos. A fifteen (15) week program beginning 2010
  • Personalized and interactive Online Coaching Programs including the Rottnest Channel 15 week training programs and individually ‘Taylor-Made’ programs for English Channel marathon swimmers
  • Individual and group swim stroke and technique instruction (by appointment). Contact Shelley directly at champion@championmindset.com.au
  • Need help with your next competition then “Pick Shelley’s Brain” (available through skype)
  • Perform at your best with 1on1 Champion Mindset Coaching

Book

Dangerous When Wet – The Shelley Taylor-Smith Story ($29.95). 15% of all profits of sales of “Dangerous When Wet” goes to the Esther Foundation

This riveting story of Shelley's rise to success is uncompromising, spirited, and straight from the heart. A must read for anyone who is struggling with motivation...the perfect read for open water swimmers of all levels. Learn how to absolutely love the solitary nature of the sport and develop the "man-against-nature" mindset which is the key essential to becoming successful in the open-water swim element of your next triathlon.

Delve into Shelley's greatest asset, "the most important 6 inches of your body - the distance between your ears" and the ability to get into your own mind, swim your own race and get in control of your own life. Learn how to turn your love-hate relationship for open water around and overcome your greatest competitor - yourself!

2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nomination

Taylor-Smith was nominated for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. Her World Open Water Swimming Association nomination reads,

Annette Kellerman. Mercedes Gleitze. Gertrude Ederle. Carol Zaleski. Sandy Neilson-Bell. Penny Lee Dean. Shelley Taylor-Smith follows along the trail-blazing path of these powerfully influential women who worked tirelessly to promote and support opportunities for swimming by both genders. Sitting as the lone woman in various FINA committees and boards dominated by powerful men, Taylor-Smith has succeeded behind the scenes in steering the course in a practical, reasonable and objective manner. Always staying true to the needs and desires of the athletes, the former 6-time world professional marathon swimming champion focuses on improving and professionalizing the sport even though her influence is not always visible to the fans or known to the media. It is not acclamation, self-fame or fortune that she seeks; her goal is the ultimate betterment of the sport. For her tireless, unseen and often under-appreciated efforts to improve the procedures, protocols and policies of open water swimming, for her unceasingly and refreshing unselfish attitude to help athletes of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, for her pioneering role as the first female referee in the Olympic marathon swim at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Shelley Taylor-Smith is a worthy nominee for the 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nomination

Taylor-Smith was nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. Her nomination reads:

The longest serving FINA committee member served unselfishly since 1994: first as an athlete representative and then as a FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee member. She was instrumental in the incorporation of the 5 km event, Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, and 5 km Team Pursuit event in the FINA program until she retired this year. She was the first female referee to serve at the Olympics. After a trailblazing career as an athlete, she maintains the same intensity as an author, speaker, and inspirational coach. For leading Open Water Swimming Mastery, for instilling confidence in others with fears and worries, for continuing to pass on her knowledge to the next generation of swimmers, Shelley Taylor-Smith is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

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2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year Nomination

Taylor-Smith was nominated for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year award. Her nomination reads:

Shelley Taylor-Smith did not retire after 6 consecutive years as the women’s #1 ranked professional marathon swimmer and 5 overall victories in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. She did not retire after being the only woman to be ranked #1 among both men and women in the history of any sport. She did not retire after serving for 2 decades on FINA committees. The 55-year-old continues to serve as an ambassador extolling the benefits and challenge of open water swimming from Europe to Oceania. She coaches people of all ages to venture past the shoreline and instills confidence to replace their fears and worries, enabling them to create results that they didn’t believe they could achieve. For helping swimmers unpack their own personal power, for staying true to the needs of swimmers, for being a positive role model and an intensely passionate coach and speaker through her Open Water Swimming Mastery, Shelley Taylor-Smith is a worthy nominee for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.

Motivational Speaking

Taylor-Smith is also a motivational speaker. One of her signature speeches is The Feminine Code of Achievement and has spoken annually at the Global Open Water Swimming Conference.

Videos

Transformation To The Ice


Shelley Taylor-Smith talks with Christof Wandratsch about his transformation to The Ice.

World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women

She was named to the list of World's 50 Most Adventurous Open Water Women by the World Open Water Swimming Association in 2015.

National Collegiate Open Water Swimming Championships


by Shelley Taylor-Smith

Libby Walker and Haley Bishop of the University of Kansas tie for first with Jenny Nusbaum finishing in a close third on Lone Star Lake in inaugural 5 km CSCAA National Collegiate Open Water Swimming Championships.

Shelley Taylor-Smith interviews Libby Walker, Haley Bishop, Jenny Nusbaum

Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Honourees

She is a member of the inaugural class of Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honourees who were inducted on August 2020.

External links