COURTNEY SHEALY HART
The Irmo native won two U.S. Olympic gold medals in swimming (400-meter relay and 400-freestyle relay) in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, having led the University of Georgia to the NCAA team swim championship in 1999 and 2000. In 2000, she earned NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year honors after winning national titles in the 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke. She also won NCAA titles in the 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relay teams. Hart also excelled in volleyball at Irmo High and at then at the University of Georgia.
A James Island resident and former Charleston City Council member, Wilson brought marathon swimming to South Carolina in 1997 with her first long swim around Key West, Fla. Over the next 20 years, she successfully completed the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, the English Channel, the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the Catalina Channel and a swim across Lake Zurich, Switzerland. Wilson also became the 12th swimmer in history to complete the Triple Crown of marathon swimming: Manhattan, English Channel, and Catalina Channel. She completed the Swim Across Long Island Sound, the Santa Barbara Channel, the Straits of Gibraltar, Vermont’s Lake Memphremagog, the difficult Molokai Channel (Hawaii), taking almost 21 hours to complete due to weather. Additionally, she completed two local firsts: the 15-mile circumnavigation of the Charleston peninsula and the longer 25-mile swim from Highway 41 in the Wando River to the Cooper River to the Ashley River I-526 Bridge. Wilson is the race director and founder of the annual 12-mile Swim Around Charleston, begun in 2011, and the 2018 Global Swim Series American Championship event. She is also an accomplished concert harpist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.