|Full name||Leon Taylor|
November 2, 1977 |
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
|Residence||Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England|
|Height||178 centimetres (5 ft 10 in)|
|Event(s)||10 m platform,
10 m synchro
|Retired||29 May 2008|
Taylor was born and educated in Cheltenham where he attended Bournside School. He was hyperactive as a child and his parents were advised to channel his energies and enthusiasm into sport. He was a swimmer and gymnast from the age of two and took up competitive diving when he was eight. By the age of 11 he was a national champion. He trained at Cheltenham Leisure Centre under Dave Taylor (no relation) and then Ian Barr until 1996. He was a mentor to Cheltenham Diving Club youngster, Daniel McGlone, who in hand became National Champion aged just 9 years old. McGlone went on to win multiple National and International events.
Taylor represented Great Britain at three Summer Olympic Games and was a member of the Great Britain team for 16 years wining medals at all major international championships. In the diving events at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, he won the Silver medal in the men's synchronised 10 metre platform, with partner Peter Waterfield. It was Britain's first Olympic diving medal since Brian Phelps in 1960. He had come fourth in the same competition in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
Other achievements include Silver in the men's 10 m platform at the 2002 Commonwealth Games (he had won Bronze in 1998), and Bronze in the 10 m synchro at the 1999 European Aquatics Championships. At a national level, Taylor held both the 10 m platform and 10 m synchro titles from 1994 to 2006.
In 1998 Leon invented the 5255b; a back 2.5 somersaults, 2.5 twists which at the time was the World's most difficult dive with a tariff of 3.8. Following a rule change in 2009, the dive now carries a tariff of 3.6.
Retirement and post-competitive career
Taylor now works as a public speaker, presenter, conference host, BBC commentator and mentor to members of the British team.
- "Cheltenham diving star Leon Taylor has leant his support to teenage prodigy Tom Daley. | Gloucester Citizen". Thisisgloucestershire.co.uk. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- "Sporting achievements of Olympic medallist Leon Taylor". Leontaylor.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- "Q&A with Leon Taylor". LloydsTSB. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "The fundamentals of diving". British Swimming.
- "FINA Table of Degree of Difficulty". Fina.org. Retrieved 2014-07-29.
- Cheese, Caroline (29 May 2008). "Diver Taylor announces retirement". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved May 29, 2008.
- "Notable alumni". shu.ac.uk. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
- "About Leon.". Retrieved September 5, 2008.
- "Who will join Tom Daley on the high board? Splash! celebrity contestants announced". The Independent (London). January 2, 2013.
- "Mentor - The Book". Leon Taylor.