Jessica Ennis: a real role model for a new generation
At last a new generation have a real role model in Jessica Ennis. Someone who has worked her socks off all her life, taken some knocks, but battled on through to get where she is today. Sophie Robehmed looks at how this truly inspiration woman made it to the top of her game and finds out what's next for Jessica.
Jessica Ennis. Two of the sweetest words being spoken as far and wide as Land's End to John O'Groats after her phenomenal gold-medal-winning performance in the Olympic heptathlon.
To win gold for Great Britain at her first Olympic games is remarkable but to do so in such style as she did, scoring 6,955 points (a personal best, a national record and hundreds of points clear of her competitors) is a remarkable achievement indeed. It's no wonder that she is the girl of the moment.
Such praise is so well deserved. Jessica has worked her butt off from the age of 11 (when she joined the City of Sheffield Athletic Club and her natural ability first started to shine) to make it all the way to the top.
And now all of her hard work, focus and subsequent personal sacrifices over the years have paid off with her Olympic gold on the weekend, adding to her already well-populated medal cabinet from other prestigious international competitions over the years.
What better role model is there right now for girls growing up than this young woman succeeding on her home turf after years of flawless discipline, drive and determination? The 26-year-old wonder woman has said she hopes Great Britain's triple triumph on Super Saturday can 'inspire a generation'. There's already been evidence of this in her hometown and that's sure to be true for young people up and down the country.
Before her Olympic win, she had already secured high-profile sponsorship deals with the likes of BA, Jaguar and skincare brand Olay. It comes as no surprise that a marketing frenzy is now expected to ensue, earning her up to £5 million in deals a year. Girl power!
Of course it helps that our Jess is extremely down-to-earth and likeable (she's said all she wants to do now is 'to relax, eat lots of rubbish food and have a few glasses of wine' to celebrate her Olympic win) with the brains (Psychology graduate), natural beauty and those abs to match her athletic prowess.
Now she has some breathing space, she plans to wed her long-term love, Andy Hill, next year. But thankfully saying 'I do' won't stop our golden girl from realising her full sporting career potential. Roll on Rio 2016.
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