WHEN Jessica Ennis first heard the news that London had been chosen to host the Olympic Games in 2012, she was studying a psychology degree at the University of Sheffield.
That was back in 2005 - and the heptathlon queen has been counting down the days ever since and now it’s exactly one year away.
“2005 is such a long time ago now, but it was a really good year for me,” Ennis remembers. “I won the European Junior Championship and it was my first major title, so I was pleased everything was coming together that year.
“I remember thinking I was really excited that it would be here in the UK and I knew I would be 26 in 2012, and hoping I would be more or less at my peak.”
And as her record shows, Sheffield’s sweetheart Jess wasn’t wrong. After missing out on the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 with a stress fracture in her foot, she came back even stronger and won the World Championships in 2009, the World Indoor Championships in 2010 and the European Championships in the same year.
“The last few years have been beyond my wildest dreams,” Ennis added.
“I was so disappointed after missing Beijing with injury, but it made me so focused and determined when I came back.
“I just wanted to put everything into my athletics and the last couple of years has gone so well.
“It’s not that I don’t feel pressure - I think every athlete does. But every athlete will be facing it next year, being in the UK, and it’s about what you do with that to turn it into support.
“I just want us all to have a great Olympics and win as many medals as we can.
“Quite a few of the boxers train at Sheffeld where I’m based at the English Institute of Sport so I’d like to see them do well.
“My family didn’t do too badly in the ballots for tickets so there will be plenty of Ennis support down south next year.”