Jessica was born on 28th January 1986 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. She was educated at Sharrow Primary School and the King Ecgbert School before graduating in Psychology at the University of Sheffield.
Not everyone succeeds at their first attempt. Jessica finished 15th in her first attempt at the ESAA Junior Pentathlon in 1999 but improved to a second-place finish in the Inter Heptathlon in 2001. She did, however, win the ESAA Junior and the Inter high jump titles in 1999 and 2001 respectively
Road to the Olympics
At the age of 20 she improved her heptathlon personal best by over 350 points, earning 6,269 points to win bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, an event won by 1992 and 1994 ESAA champion, Kelly Sotherton. Jessica continued to improve throughout 2007, finishing fourth in her first World Championships, but in 2008 stress fractures in her right foot caused a 12-month lay-off. She came back with a vengeance to take the 2009 World and 2010 European titles. The records now show that Jessica was the rightful 2011 World Champion, after finishing a frustrated silver medallist at the time.
If Saturday was super, Friday of the Olympic heptathlon was fantastic. In the first event, the 100m hurdles, Jessica’s time was not only the best ever achieved by a heptathlete, but it also set a new British record for the event. On Super Saturday, she took the Olympic title with a new British and Commonwealth record of 6,955 points.
Another amazing comeback
A series of injuries ruled out most of the 2013 season and a pregnancy the 2014 one but Jessica wasn’t finished yet. She returned to win the World Championships gold medal for a third time in 2015 and Olympic silver in Rio 2016.
- 2012 Olympic Games heptathlon gold, 2016 Olympic Games heptathlon silver
- 2009, 2011 and 2015 World Championships heptathlon gold
- 2010 European Championships heptathlon gold
- 2006 Commonwealth Games heptathlon bronze
- 7 national titles
- MBE in 2011, CBE in 2013, DBE in 2017.
- BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.