Jessica Ennis exclusive
Jessica Ennis was one of the stars of the summer as she won heptathlon gold inside the Olympic Stadium on a golden night of athletics, in which Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford also celebrated success. She looks back with Orange at her glorious night and on life as an Olympic champion...
What's an Olympic champion doing today then?
Training. I've been back in training nearly four weeks now. To start with, it was a real shock to the body but I'm slightly getting used to it now. It's hard on cold, wet mornings running up hills where your body and mind just want you to stop. I'd had six weeks off in all and not done anything really so the body can actually get unfit quite quickly. Six weeks is quite a big chunk of time to have off.
So what have you done with your time off?
It's been great to spend time with family and friends, and I had 10 days off in the Indian Ocean where I did absolutely nothing. I mostly ate, sat by the pool or on the beach, and had a swim. It was amazing. And I've done some sponsor stuff and some fun shows like Jonathan Ross, Celebrity Juice and A League of Their Own. Most of the time I have to turn all that down so it's been great fun to be able to do that type of thing.
So now you're back in training, what's the goal for next season? There were reports you might give up the heptathlon and switch to the 100m hurdles. Any truth in that?
No, it's still the heptathlon and the goal's the World Championships in August in Moscow. I lost out in the defence of my world title last year so it would be good to get that back. But the heptathlon's always so competitive that there's at least a good five or six girls that could be world champion next season. I'm not sure whether I'll do an indoor season yet so things aren't entirely mapped out at the moment.
Is there a danger of a post-Olympic hangover?
Yeah, there's definitely that danger and I just have to ensure with my coach [Toni Minichello] that we make sure the motivation's still there but making new targets.
Would 7,000 points be one of those goals?
Definitely, because of how close I got to that at the Games. Things like that are the extra motivation you need in training.
Do the Olympics seem like a lifetime ago?
They really do. It's almost like it didn't happen it's that long ago. Thankfully I've got the footage and photos to remind me.
How was the whole experience?
It was just an amazingly unbelievable experience, and it doesn't compared to anything else I've ever experienced. It couldn't have gone better for me and thankfully it will be with me forever. The thing is I have to be realistic, I don't think I'll ever experience anything like it. I can't describe it to people properly unless they were there. The noise was something else. It was just so loud.
Has life changed beyond all recognition?
It's not really changed in Sheffield where I live but it's changed in terms of the recognition I get across the rest of the country. It's great to see so many people excited about what I achieved.
You've got a book coming out. How was that?
I wasn't sure about it to start with as I'm a pretty private person so I couldn't tell if I wanted to do it initially. But it's been really good and it's been nice to go back over everything.
How nice will it be to hear Jess Ennis Olympic champion at your next competition?
Amazing. Some people say that might be an athletics burden. I think it will make me even more nervous than usual but I'm ok with it. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Is there a chance that Katarina Johnson-Thompson [her fellow British heptathlete] might be snapping at your heels and might surpass you?
She's amazing and she's a great talent for the future. She did brilliantly at the Olympics and she's got the potential to get a really big score in the future. I just have to make sure she doesn't pass me.
Your event aside, what were your Games highlights?
I loved watching Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford win as that was on the same night as me. I was still in the training camp when Team GB won its first medal through Lizzie Armitstead so that was great as well. Paralympics wise, I really enjoyed seeing Richard Whitehead in the 200m and my mum's second-favourite athlete is David Weir. I think she said second favourite, or maybe he's passed me in her eyes now after those four golds! She made me tell him that at the victory parade in London.