Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, athlete

By BBC Radio 4

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill is an Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion heptathlete, and is one of the most successful women in British sporting history. She was the face of Team GB during the 2012 London Olympics, and her image adorned billboards and hoardings across the country in the run up to the Games.

Born in Sheffield, Jessica discovered sport as a youngster after attending a local athletics camp during the school holidays. By the time she was 13 she was working with a coach and had joined the City of Sheffield Athletics Club.

In 2006 she won bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games but in 2008 she suffered an injury to her right foot which dashed her hopes of competing in the Beijing Olympics.

She spent the next year working her way back to fitness and by the 2012 London Olympics she was at the peak of her powers. When she crossed the finish line on 4 August – known as Super Saturday when Team GB won three athletics gold medals in less than an hour – she took the gold medal with a British and Commonwealth record score which remained unbeaten for seven years. Just 15 months after the birth of her first child, Jessica won the heptathlon world title in Beijing – her third World Championship gold medal in a row. She won silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. In October of that year, at the age of 30, she retired from competitive athletics.

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