Sara Simeoni was born in Rivoli Veronese, in the province of Verona. She soon took up athletics, specialising in the high jump. Her first international result was at the 1971 European Championships in Helsinki, where she ended 9th with a 178 cm jump. Her first international success was at the 1976 in Montreal, where she won a silver medal, with a personal best of 1.91 m, and was beaten only by Rosemarie Ackermann's 1.93 m leap.
In August 1978, she set the new world record with 2.01 m in Brescia (this jump stood as a national record until Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 in June 2007). Later in the same month she equalled it at Prague while winning the European title. In 1980, Simeoni set a new Olympic record of 1.97 m, when winning gold in Moscow. Simeoni was the only woman athlete not from a Communist country able to win an athletics gold medal in Moscow.
Simeoni struggled to regain her form in the following years, with a series of tendon injuries. At 1984 Olympics, Simeoni carried the Italian flag at the opening ceremony in Los Angeles. Here, she cemented her reputation as one of the greatest female high jumpers ever, in a thrilling duel with West German Ulrike Meyfarth. Simeoni managed to reach the 2 meters measure for the first time since 1978. The ageing Meyfarth, however, replied with a notable 2.02 m jump, and Simeoni won a silver medal.
Simeoni's other titles include two bronze medals at the European Championships and 25 national titles. Her jump of 2.01 m was the Italian record for women for 29 years. On 8 June 2007, Antonietta Di Martino jumped 2.02 m, establishing the new Italian record for women.
|1970||European Junior Championships||Colombes, France||5th||1.70 m|
|1971||European Championships||Helsinki, Finland||9th||1.78 m|
|Mediterranean Games||Izmir, Turkey||2nd||1.74 m|
|1972||Olympic Games||Munich, West Germany||6th||1.85 m|
|1973||European Indoor Championships||Rotterdam, Netherlands||9th||1.82 m|
|Universiade||Moscow, Soviet Union||3rd||1.81 m|
|1974||European Indoor Championships||Gothenburg, Sweden||11th||1.75 m|
|European Championships||Rome, Italy||3rd||1.89 m|
|1975||European Indoor Championships||Katowice, Poland||4th||1.80 m|
|Mediterranean Games||Algiers, Algeria||1st||1.89 m|
|Universiade||Rome, Italy||2nd||1.88 m|
|1976||Olympic Games||Montreal, Canada||2nd||1.91 m|
|1977||European Indoor Championships||San Sebastián, Spain||1st||1.92 m|
|Universiade||Sofia, Bulgaria||1st||1.92 m|
|World Cup||Düsseldorf, West Germany||2nd||1.92 m1|
|1978||European Indoor Championships||Milan, Italy||1st||1.94 m|
|European Championships||Prague, Czechoslovakia||1st||2.01 m|
|1979||World Cup||Montreal, Canada||2nd||1.94 m1|
|Universiade||Mexico City, Mexico||3rd||1.92 m|
|Mediterranean Games||Split, Yugoslavia||1st||1.98 m|
|1980||European Indoor Championships||Sindelfingen, West Germany||1st||1.95 m|
|Olympic Games||Moscow, Soviet Union||1st||1.97 m|
|1981||European Indoor Championships||Grenoble, France||1st||1.97 m|
|Universiade||Bucharest, Romania||1st||1.96 m|
|1982||European Championships||Athens, Greece||3rd||1.97 m|
|1983||World Championships||Helsinki, Finland||19th (q)||1.84 m|
|1984||Olympic Games||Los Angeles, United States||2nd||2.00 m|
|1986||European Championships||Stuttgart, West Germany||13th (q)||1.86 m|
- Italian Athletics Championships
- High jump: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985 (14)
- Pentathlon: 1972 (1)
- Italian Indoor Athletics Championships
- High jump: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1986 (10)
- Female two metres club
- Women's high jump world record progression
- Women with most medals in high jump
- Italian sportswomen multiple medalists at Olympics and World Championships
- FIDAL Hall of Fame
- Italy national athletics team – Multiple medalists
- Italian all-time lists – High jump
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Sara Simeoni". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020.
- Roberto Azzaro. iaaf.org
- "ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS". gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "ITALIAN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS". gbrathletics.com. Retrieved 12 April 2012.