Switching seamlessly between track and alpine disciplines, Jessica won two Bronze Winter Paralympic medals in the process.
On the eve of her journey to Rio for what will be her fifth Paralympic campaign, Jess talks to us about training, battling work, sport and life commitments, her compression addiction and her dream of becoming the first Australian to win medals at both the Winter and Summer Paralympics.
My road to Rio
“My alarm goes off at 5am and I’m on my bike by 5.20am riding to the gym. A typical day for me sees two training sessions, with 2.5 hours of strength and conditioning in the morning and anywhere from one to four hours on the bike in the afternoon. In between that I try to get a good few hours of work in, whether it be for my role as an osteopath, board director at Vision 2020, motivational speaker or working with some of my commercial partners, including 2XU.
Rio will be my fifth Paralympic campaign and my third time competing in the Summer Paralympics, but it will be my first time competing as a track cyclist and I could not be more excited.
It was a big risk leaving alpine skiing and going to a new sport with new training methods, new coaches and new challenges. But I also feel that with my experience, both the good and the bad, I’ve learnt how to embrace the challenges and the pending excitement and not be overwhelmed or distracted by it.
Receiving that phone call from the Australian coach, telling me that I’d made the team and that all that hard work and dedication had been worth it was a wonderful feeling.
It is incredibly important for me to partner with people and products that are as passionate and dedicated as I am.
2XU were my first sponsor and have supported me for over six years and through all three sports. I first used 2XU compression under my alpine skiing speedsuit and when it not only helped my performance but held up to the tough winter temperatures I was hooked.
You’d be hard pressed to not find me in compression tights each and every day, so it was wonderful to hear that 2XU had again partnered with the Australian Paralympic Committee to provide the casual and competition wear for our Paralympic team.
With the event now less than three months away I just can’t wait to compete. That moment when I jump into the start gate with my tandem pilot Maddie, the nerves and adrenaline pumping, waiting to show the world what we are made of, that’s the moment that I look forward to most.”
Jessica is an ambassador for 2XU, who are also the official outfitters of the Australian Paralympic team. As part of their partnership Jessica and 2XU have created a limited edition customised cycling kit with all the proceeds supporting Jess’s journey to Rio. The limited edition kit will be available at your local 2XU outlet soon. The 2016 Rio Paralympics begins on September 7.