- Sharron Davies
Sharron Elizabeth Davies, MBE (born
November 1, 1962in Plymouth, Devon) is a successful swimmer from the United Kingdom. Having won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Gamesand a silver at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, Davies has built a successful second career as television presenterand patron for charities for disabled children and fitness.
Davies grew up in
Plymouthand Plymstock. She learned to swim at age six and was training seriously two years later at Bracknell and Wokingham Swimming Club(BWSC). 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 a few months prior to her fourteenth birthday, Davies was selected to represent the UK at the 1976 Summer Olympicsin 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 sixteen, 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 400m individual medley behind East German
At the age of 18, Davies called time on the first stage of her swimming career in order to build her television profile and a career in modelling. In 1989 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 2006, Sharron supported the British Olympic bid by profile raising and appearing as spokesperson on BBC's Question Time where she made a strong case for bringing the games to London.
Sharron 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.
Davies' early ventures beyond swimming included appearing in a ski tuition video with world champion Franz Klammer, alongside fellow swimmer
Duncan Goodhew. She also featured in the BBC's 1981 series "Sporting Superstars".
She later joined the team of former British sports stars in presenting and commentating on sport coverage for the
BBC. Initially this covered swimming but was extended to other sports for the Atlanta and Sydney Olympics.
Davies caused a stir in the swimming community in 1994 when she headed a "British Girls of Sport" calendar. Instead of their usual functional sporting outfits, the athletes adopted a variety of sexy outfits in order to raise money for the Sports Aid Foundation. Davies had a breast enhancement operation after the birth of her first child and her figure was the subject of much tabloid gossip during the 2004 Olympic Games.
Davies has published a number of health and fitness videos and co-authored books on the same topic. In 1995 she joined ITV's "Gladiators" where her glamorous appearance, height|m=1.80 height and althleticism were employed to good effect as the Gladiator "Amazon". A knee injury forced her to withdraw from the gameshow in 1996. She later complained of the health and safety aspects of the show.
In 1994, a documentary was made about Davies and Redmond for the
Xpress (TV series). It was produced and directed by Pogus Caesarfor Windrush Productionsand broadcast on Carlton TV.
Also in 1996, Davies became a presenter of Channel 4's "
The Big Breakfast".
She continues to appear regularly as one of the BBC's main swimming commentators, assisted by her encyclopedic knowledge of swimming records and natural glamour. Her achievements and position as a positive role model mean that she continues to be very popular and retains a substantial fan base despite a lower profile.
Davies returned to British TV screens weekly from July 2008 as a joint host presenter along with
Jim Rosenthalon Five's latest revival of the long running celebrity sports competition Superstars. [ [http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/2008/07/superstars_has_a_twinkle_with_13m.html Superstars] ]
She provided commentary for the BBC at the
2008 Summer Olympicsin Beijingand was a presenter at London's Olympics Handover Party in The Mall.
Early in her career Sharron was, briefly, linked romantically with
Davies then lived with Neil Adams, who had won numerous Olympic and World Championship medals in judo, in a long term relationship until he left her suddenly to marry a hairdresser.
Her first marriage to physical training instructor John Crisp in 1986 ended in divorce in 1991 after five years.
In 1994 she married athlete
Derek Redmond, having met at the Barcelona Olympicsin 1992, and with whom she had two children, Elliott and Grace. They divorced in 2000. [ [http://www.ukathletics.net/supporters/hall-of-fame-athletes/derek-redmond/ Profile of Derek Redmond at UK Athletics] ]
Davies' third and current marriage is to
British Airways[ [http://www.myvillage.com/plymouth/celebs&gossip-sharron_davies.htm Sharron Davis profile at My Village - Plymouth] ] pilot Tony Kingston. In Autumn 2006, she announced that she was three months pregnant after IVFtreatment, having been trying for a baby for four years and suffered two miscarriages. During a Sports Relief event in Devon, she said: “We’re very optimistic and happy but we’re cautious, too, because of what we have been through. Giving birth at 43 doesn’t worry me. I’m in better shape than most women 15 years younger. So many women go through this as they leave it later to have babies.” Sharron gave birth to her third child, a son on 30 January 2007, named him Finley John Kingston-Davies. In 1993 she was awarded the MBE for her services to swimming. Davies is a current patron of the Disabled Sport England and The Sports Aid Foundation. Davies is also the face of the "Swim for Life" charity event.
* [http://www.sharrondavies.tv/ Sharron Davies' official homepage]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/234103.stm On Davies' 1998 appeal to the IOC]
* [http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/da/sharron-davies-1.html Sharron Davies at sports-reference.com]
* [http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/da/sharron-davies-1.html sports-reference]
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