Our speaker this month is Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies!
We are delighted to have Olympic swimming champion, model and TV presenter Sharron Davies MBE as our speaker at Novembers general meeting. Especially as it's her birthday that day! She has very kindly agreed to drop by the Wentworth to talk to us, so be sure to join us!
Sharron Elizabeth Davies, MBE (born 1 November 1962) is an English former competitive swimmer who represented Great Britain in the Olympics and European championships, and competed for England in the Commonwealth Games. She won a silver medal in the 400-metre individual medley at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, and two gold medals at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton. Since retiring from the sport, she has worked as television presenter and served as a patron of charities for disabled children and fitness. She was also a contestant on Dancing on Ice2011.
She learned to swim at the age of six and was training seriously two years later. In her biography 'Against The Tide' published in 1984 Sharron records that 'being accepted into Ray's Port of Plymouth squad was one of the many watershed points of my career' she goes on to describe how 'he corrected all her bad habits and developed me into a four-stroke swimmer. Ray laid the foundations of the medley swimmer that was to blossom later'. She set a record by swimming for the British national team at the age of only eleven. She was so determined that she continued her training even after breaking both her wrists in a childhood accident. In 1976, still only thirteen, Davies was selected to represent Great Britain at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Although her performance was not enough to get her in the medals, it did make her a household name. The next year she stepped up a gear to win two bronze medals in the 1977 European Championships. The following year, still just fifteen, she won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in the 200 and 400-metre individual medleys. She also picked up a further silver and bronze medal.
By 1980 Davies was ready for a more serious Olympic challenge. She took the silver medal in the 400 m individual medley behind East German Petra Schneider, who later admitted that the victory was drug enhanced.
At the age of eighteen, Davies called time on the first stage of her swimming career to build her television profile and a career in modelling. In 1989, and training at Bracknell & WokinghamSwimming Club, she returned to the pool, where she picked up two more medals at the 1990 Commonwealth Games. By the time she finally hung up her swimsuit for good in 1994, she had been a British champion on twenty occasions and had broken two hundred British swimming records and 5 World Masters records (eligible to those over 30).
In the 1993 New Year Honours, Davies was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) "for services to swimming".
Davies has been very vocal in the calls for a reallocation of medals and titles at the various games where East German athletes won using illegal, drug-supported development techniques. Sports bodies have recognised the superior achievement of athletes like Sharron who shunned the use of performance-enhancing substances but have fallen short of rewriting the medal tables.
Also, please do not forget to bring your item to donate to the Runneymede Foodbank. Baskets will be available at the check in desk where you can leave your item(s).
Please let Sunita know if you will be staying for lunch.