Sharron Davies MBE
Sharron Davies occupies a unique position in British life. In an age of increasingly fleeting fame and notoriety, she has been one of the UK’s best known and most popular sportswomen since bursting onto the scene as a 13 year old Olympian in 1976. More than 30 years later she is still a popular, in demand and much admired character.
As a sportswoman, television personality, devoted mother of three, public speaker, model, enthusiastic charity worker, powerboat racer, author, interior designer and equestrian – Sharron enjoys a busy and varied life and retains remarkable popularity amongst those aged 8 to 80!
Having first swum for Britain at the extraordinary age of 11 she was selected for the 1976 Montreal Olympics and instantly became a household name. At only 14 she confirmed her talents by winning two European Bronze medals – only losing out to the then all conquering East Germans. But it was in 1978 that 15-year-old Sharron stormed to the first of her many successes winning Commonwealth gold medals in both 200 and 400m Individual Medley events.
Her astonishing form continued and in 1980 she took a battling silver medal at the Moscow Olympics finishing just behind Petra Schneider of East Germany. Ms Schneider has since admitted that her performance was heavily drug enhanced. An emotional reunion between Sharron and Petra was the subject of a captivating Channel 4 documentary.
As is often the case with prodigies whose success and stardom arrives so early, Sharron decided she needed a break from training and competition and ‘retired’ at the age of 18 to pursue a media career. However the lure of the water proved too much and she returned in 1989 and promptly regained her national 200m title.
As ladies captain of Britain’s 1990 Commonwealth Games squad she led by example and returned with silver and bronze medals.
Twice voted British Press Sportswoman of the Year, Sharron’s incredible international career spanned three decades, included numerous major titles and medals, 200 British records, some of which stand to this day (including the 20- year-old 400 IM record), 5 World Masters records and an MBE awarded by the Queen for services to sport.
Retiring from competition in 1994 Sharron has become a regular on television and in the press.