Sheila Taormina (file photo from City of Taylor)
Sport: Modern Pentathlon
Result: 19th overall in 36-person field
Key Words: 3 sports
Magic Index: ★★★
Description: The 39-year-old American is the first woman to qualify for the Olympics in three different sports: she won a gold medal in 4x200m freestyle relay at the 1996 Atlanta Games; and finished 6th and 23rd respectively in women's triathlon at 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games. She had to learn three events in three years to get ready for the Beijing Games. Taormina set a record in swimming event and tied first in the full score of 1,200 points in show jumping, and a dismal fencing performance (she finished last) hampered her dream of medal.
Words From the Heart: "The last three years have not been fun. But I had no regrets. I'm 39½ years old. I just want to sit with my family without having to rush to a workout. I did it. I didn't quit."