Olympic champion inspires young swimmers

DUBAI - An American Olympic Gold Medalist in the 4x200 meters freestyle division and an ITU Triathlon World Champion, Sheila Taormina held a one-day swim clinic for swimmers and triathletes at the Dubai International Academy in Emirates Hills on Tuesday, a press release said.

The champions swimmer will hold another clinic on Saturday, 26 November. Sheila Taormina is the smallest swimmer to win Olympic gold since 1920, is also the only woman in the world to have competed in three different sports (swimming, triathlon and modern pentathlon) in four consecutive Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008).

Having overcome several challenges in her quest to qualify for the Olympics, Sheila has been a popular speaker for businesses, schools and community organizations. Her corporate clients include The New York Times, Merrill Lynch, Motorola and UPS. “This is a fantastic opportunity for athletes to interact with an inspirational figure in world sport, and I hope that Sheila’s visit will help participants realise their own sporting goals,” says organiser Ryan Landy.

The focus of the swim clinic is on the vital aspect of the freestyle stroke - the underwater high elbow position that is the source of propulsion for a swimmer. The clinic begins with an out-of-water classroom and Q & A session, and is then followed by a dry land and in-water swim session. Attendees will learn what it means to “feel” the water as well as how to develop the strength and flexibility.

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