Olympic poster girl Ennis did chip shop u-turn

Olympic poster girl: Jessica Ennis. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Olympic poster girl: Jessica Ennis. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

SHEFFIELD’s Olympic pin-up Jessica Ennis has revealed she did a chip shop u-turn when she saw a huge poster of herself outside promoting good health, writes Graham Walker.

In her new book, Unbelievable, the heptathlete champion says it was all part of the extreme pressure she faced of being the face of the London Olympics.

Jess, whose book is being serialised in The Times, wrote: “The pressure was huge.

“I would drive past five big posters of me on the way to training. It was still hard to take in.

“One night I was driving to a chip shop and was about to go in when I saw the huge Powerade ad hanging outside.

“There I was, supposedly sweating after a hard session, clad in Lycra and selling good health. I thought, ‘God, I can’t go in now’, and drove on to Sainsbury’s instead.”

She also describes the “pure fear” she felt before the 800 metres, her final event at the Olympic Stadium.

Jess wrote: “It was a long wait because I wanted to run the race now. Get it over. Kill the pressure.

“The television set in the combined events room switched to the studio where Denise Lewis and Michael Johnson began discussing me.

“I put my fingers in my ears and ran out of the room.”

The 26-year-old, who will help turn on the Meadowhall Christmas lights on Thursday, also revealed that she was bullied at school because she was “small and scraggy”.

“There were two girls who were really nasty to me. They did not hit me, but bullying can take on many forms and the abuse and name-calling hurt,’’ she wrote.

“The saying about sticks and stones breaking bones but words never hurting falls on deaf ears when you are a schoolkid in the throes of a verbal beating.

“At that age, girls can be almost paralysed by their self-consciousness, so each nasty little word cut deep wounds. I went home, cried and wrote in my diary.”

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