Sharon Lee-Sheridan (Inducted 2021)

Thank you, Robin, for your heartfelt/generous introduction.  Thank you to the Hall of Fame Committee and congratulations to Peggy for her concurrent induction.

Now I will share some of my thoughts on what Minnesota Masters Swimming means to me, with the hope that my words will resonate with some of your own experiences. 

While times, titles, and records are worthy achievements, to me it is really about the journey we are all on, the people who touch us along the way.

As Robin mentioned, I really have been immersed in water most of my life.  I am forever indebted to my parents and siblings who gave of their time and support to get me to practices and meets in my younger years.

Now, I have my own family, my husband, Kevin, and our son Tommy, who are here with me today, and our daughter Kelsey (who is watching from a computer screen out in Pittsburgh).  They are a constant , always cheering me on, always supporting the insanity of a wife and mother who likes to dive into pools in the early morning hours. 

Along with my family, I have the support of my coaches from the Star Team where I workout- beginning with Marty Knight in 1990 and continuing with Sue and Paul Lundsten these past 32 years. They promptly show up for practice every day, provide challenging workouts, share stroke techniques and competition strategies.  But more importantly  they provide friendship, encouragement and respect. 

To me, Masters swimming is about the everyday practices with multigenerational teammates with whom I share the pool and our stories. Here’s just one example of my teammate support:  Following a bike accident on my way to practice in 2016, they were the ones who literally picked me up off the pavement, called the paramedics, came to the ER,  and held a bowl to catch my vomit while Coach Sue held my hand as the doctors wrapped my broken elbow.  It didn’t stop there, they provided meals, cards, emails, visits, and encouragement all throughout my recovery.  Those of you who are on teams, know what I’m talking about.   It’s this everyday camaraderie that provides support and keeps us sane and balanced, and showing up for practice.  That’s Masters Swimming!

In 2017 I was first introduced to the 65 and older relays, organized by Marc Anderson at Nationals.  With Marc’s vision and energy, aided by Mark Kaplan’s behind the scenes support, we have continued on as the Relayker Team giving us aging swimmers a chance to swim in relays together, establishing national top ten ranking as well as FINA world ranking.    I am especially thrilled and honored to swim with other pre Title 9 (that’s before 1972) Relayker women who didn’t have equal opportunities to join high school and possibly college sports teams, some of whom joined swimming and other sports at older ages. We are the ones who are paving the way, raising the bar for the under 65 year old women.  Who doesn’t like to watch our Relayker relays, setting records for you younger swimmers to one day break?  We’re probably not getting too many personal best times as we age, but we’re still supporting each other, having fun, and staying healthy.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the many volunteers and board members in Minnesota Masters Swimming. We wouldn’t be here today without them providing the backbone for our organization.  They endlessly volunteer their time and vision to all of us.  They have grown our organization exponentially, providing not only opportunities for us to affordably compete, but also giving us volunteer opportunities and fund raisers to share our swimming talents like the Adult Learn to Swim Program to teach fearful and adults new to the sport how to swim; or the Swim Angel Program  to swim alongside under confident triathletes.  

I am humbled and honored to be inducted into the Minnesota Masters’ Hall of Fame.  A heartfelt thank you to the Hall of Fame Committee, my family, coaches, Star teammates, Relayker teammates, and to the countless volunteers and board members for making all of this possible. You are what Masters Swimming means to me! Thank you!

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About Minnesota Masters Swimming

Minnesota Masters Swimming LMSC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to a healthy swimming lifestyle for adult swimmers within 87 counties in Minnesota and 3 in Western Wisconsin. It is the local governing body for United States Masters Swimming (USMS).

There are 1,172 registered swimmers in the Minnesota LMSC and over 60,000 nationwide. Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible to join. No prior competitive swimming experience is necessary.

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