Shannon Rowbury is an Olympic athlete, World Championships Bronze medalist and four-time United States champion. Her 7th place finish at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing was the highest Olympic finish ever by an American woman at that distance. In June 2009 she won the US Championships for the 1500m race for the second time. Shortly thereafter, she earned a Bronze medal at the World Championships in the women's 1500 meters race. She is the second fastest miler in American history.
A recognized world champion in her sport, Shannon's story is as much about strength and perseverance against odds as it is about speed. While a film student and athlete at Duke University, Shannon won the NCAA Indoor Mile in 2007 and then placed second in the 3K an hour and a half later. In 2007 her career was abruptly cut short due to an injury that should have permanently sidelined her from her sport. Although a major blow to her collegiate track career, it forced her to evaluate her physical limitations and challenged her emotional strength and passion for running. Through vigorous rehabilitation, determination and an unfailing resolve to resume the sport that she loves, Shannon emerged stronger than ever and was back training for the Olympics within six months.
Running is Shannon's second sport; Irish Dancing was her first. Beginning at the age of six, Shannon competed in Irish Dancing throughout the country and twice at the World Championships in Ireland. She was ranked 7th nationally, before retiring at the age of 16 to focus on the sport she began her freshman year of school—running. Shannon believes Irish Dancing was the foundation for her successful running career, preparing her mentally for competition and developing her coordination, balance and speed.
Shannon is currently under contract with Nike and training to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. A lifelong resident of San Francisco, when she isn't running she is exploring her favorite pastimes: museums, restaurants, nightlife and the city's vibrant art scene.