Jessica Ennis collecting her gold medal in 2012.

In Rio next month, Jessica Ennis-Hill aims to make history as the first British woman to successfully defend a track and field title at the Olympics. She won the gold medal at the London Olympics on a night that was known as ‘Super Saturday’. The London Olympics were the first Games that I was really engrossed in; I had just finished college and so had a lot of time on my hands and living in Ireland there was no time difference to contend with. For me, Jessica winning the 800 meters was the highlight of the entire Games. She went on to inspire people everywhere to become more active, whether in competitive sports or just for fun.

Jessica began competing in athletic when she was just 10 years old in Sheffield. Over the years her specialities have been the 100 meter hurdles and the heptathlon. The heptathlon that she won gold in is comprised of seven track and field events: the 100 metres hurdles, the high jump, shot put, 200 metres hurdles, the long jump, javelin and the 800 metres. The event takes place over two days. Prior to the 2012 Olympics she won gold in the World Championships in 2009 winning four of the seven events.
There were great expectations put on Ennis to do well at the Games – the home town crowd were urging her every step of the way. She won gold where she set a new British and Commonwealth record score of 6,955 points. She came first in three of the seven events: 200 metres, 100 metres hurdles and the 800 metres. As a result of her huge success she went on to win numerous awards including in 2014 (a year in which she did not compete due to the birth of her son), when she was named the most inspirational person to people under 25 by UK Youth.

She goes into this year’s Olympics aiming to further cement her place in the history books. She has modified her training – prioritising spending time with her son over going to the UK training camp – but she will however still be one of the favourites to win. I for one will be willing her all the way.

-Michelle O’Brien
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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