Shannon Rowbury: Road to the 2012 Olympics

Shannon Rowbury, is an Olympic athlete, World Championships Bronze medalist and four-time United States champion in the sport of track and field.

Shannon is a lifelong San Francisco resident, born September 19, 1984 in her favorite city by the Bay.

During her first week of kindergarten at Saint Stephen's Elementary School, Shannon sustained a serious schoolyard injury that left her in a leg cast. Once removed, her Grandmother enrolled her in an Irish Dance class as a means of rehabilitation.

Shannon continued with Irish Dancing for 10 years and successfully competed throughout the country and twice at the World Championships in Ireland. She was ranked 7th nationally.

Shannon began her running career in 1998, during her freshman year of high school at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. Among Shannon's many athletic achievements in high school were multiple league and section championships in events ranging from the 1600m relay to cross-country, as well as State Championship titles in both the 800m and 1600m and a National Championship at 800m. Shannon graduated second in her high school class.

Shannon attended Duke University where she studied English and Theater, and successfully competed on the cross-country and Track & Field teams for the school. She was runner up in the mile run at the NCAA Championships in 2006. She topped that by winning the NCAA Indoor Mile in 2007 and then placed second in the 3k an hour and a half later.

In 2007, Shannon graduated from Duke University Magna Cum Laude, having majored in English and Theater Studies while also earning a certificate in Film/Video/Digital Studies.

In May 2008, Shannon completed her master's degree in Humanities with an emphasis in Women's Studies & Film Studies at Duke University.

Shannon began her professional running career when she signed with Nike in June 2007. On July 6, 2008, she placed first in the 1500 meter final at the USATF Olympic Trials in Eugene, qualifying her for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Shannon's 7th place finish in the 2008 Olympics at Beijing was the highest Olympic finish ever by an American woman at that distance before she finished in 6th place in the 2012 Olympics at London.

In August 2009, Shannon earned a Bronze medal at the World Championships in the women's 1500 meters race. One month later Shannon won the Fifth Avenue Mile, an annual mile road race in New York City that brings out elite U.S. runners.

The 2010 season had no major championships. Shannon competed in a variety of events including the 800m, 1500m, 3,000m, and 5,000m. She ran the second fasted time in American History in the 3,000m at the Monaco Diamond League in July 2011 and in September of 2010, she repeated here Fifth Avenue Title.