The New Shelley Taylor-Smith Medal Announced
Swimming Western Australia Honours and Awards Committee has decided to honor the most celebrated open water swimmer from its area. Shelley Taylor-Smith, a dual inductee in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, gave her permission to rename the Multi-Class of the Year Award to the Shelley Taylor-Smith Medal as an acknowledgement of her lifetime achievements throughout her competitive open water swimming career and her outstanding ambassadorship throughout her administrative and coaching career. She volunteered and tirelessly worked in one of the longest tenures of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and FINA Athletes Committee, helping to bring open water swimming to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Taylor-Smith simply said, “I am so feeling overwhelmingly blessed. This is not about me…there is no solo in life and no solo in marathon swimming. This is about the incredible coaches who deserved to share in the accolades and gold medals with me…Coaches Ray Pitcher and Kevin Duff who coached me when I was absolutely hopeless at dives and tumble turns.
I was a pool swimmer in a previous life…to Coach Samuel Freas who supported me in my career in marathon swimming…when he identified my talent in a lake in Arkansas USA…Coaches Bernie Mulroy and Colin Raven who took me on and my passion for open water swimming, the English Channel and our Perth City Aquaclub success in the Swan River at 6th FINA World Swimming Championships Perth 1991…to Coach Grub Graeme Carroll coaching me to continued international success in NSW States, Aussie Open Water Swimming Nationals, Pan Pacific Championships, World Championships, and the World Marathon Swim Series 1992 to 1998…and my legendary support handler Nancy Schnarr, together we won gold in 1991 World Championships, a team gold in 1994 World Championships, and a gold for every race together on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit and Manhattan Island solo records. My training buddies and teammates throughout the years…30 years or more… at Tuart Hill SHS Swimming Club, Perth City Aquaclub, Arkansas Lady Razorbacks Swim Team, Warringah Aquatic Club and Long Island Swim Club. And the incredible support of my Sport Psych Stephen Cohen, mentors Dawn Fraser and Des Renford, Swimming WA, NSW Swimming, NSW Institute of Sport and Swimming Australia. Together we put the sport of marathon swimming in Australia on the map globally.”
The Shelley Taylor-Smith Medal is an award given annually by Swimming Western Australia to the resident Western Australian swimmer who returns the most outstanding performance according to the following criteria: (1) World Multi Class record, (2) Individual medal at an international benchmark meet, or Paralympics or World Championships, (3) Selected to represent Australia at an international benchmark meet, (4) Relay medal at an international benchmark meet, being Paralympics or World Championships, (5) Australian Record, (6) Gold, silver and/or bronze at Australian Championships, and (7) WA State Record achieved at Australian Championships. Achievements in a long course event will take precedence over those achieved at a short course event. Events eligible for consideration include lympic/Paralympic events only.
This is the second recognition in Western Australia for Taylor-Smith. The MV Shelley Taylor-Smith is a ferry boat in Western Australia named after her.
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