EXCLUSIVE: GB golden girl Jessica Ennis talks to FEMAIL about her dreams of being a chef, her big wedding plans – and her Royal fan club
10:55 GMT, 21 August 2012
She has rapidly become a household name synonymous with outstanding athletic ability, unrivalled abs and the most humble demeanor in the Olympic Village.
For the 26-year-old national treasure, winning gold on home turf just over two weeks ago was the culmination of more than 15 years of rigorous, scrupulously planned training.
And after the tears, joy, sweat, pain and jubilation of arguably the best Games in history, the Sheffield-born star is still loving every single second.
Since taking home gold at the Summer Games, Jessica Ennis is the name on everyone's lips this year
‘The hype certainly hasn’t died down; it is getting even better post-Olympics. I can’t believe all the support I have had, it is amazing.
'From all the tweets to people stopping me in the street. I am just loving it. It is just the best feeling in the world to have actually completed what I set out to achieve,’ Jessica beams.
The daughter of a decorator father and social worker mother, Jessica was enrolled into the world that would change her life at the tender age of ten.
‘I suppose a sporting career is all I have known because I started competing from such a young age after my parents entered me into a track event in the summer holidays, but I did actually want to be a journalist when I was younger, or a chef!
'I loved creating all sorts of dishes in the kitchen but I am not sure what my mum made of it all,’ she reminisces.
Her gold medal was the culmination of intense training which she began at the tender age of ten
The budding athlete took to sport immediately and went on to join the City of Sheffield Athletic Club.
From that day one, there was no stopping her and she went on to acquire medal after medal, most notably the world and European gold medals in the past three years.
With her chosen career path, the swell of pressure that has encircled Jessica was unimaginable but remaining cool and collected is in her nature and she refuses to bow to the strains that the Olympic spotlight has burdened her with.
Behind the steel athletic exterior is a fun-loving northern girl loving every second
Try typing the term ‘Jessica Ennis’ into Google.
Two of the top suggestions are ‘bum’ and ‘hot’ and with a sculpted and toned body reflecting the discipline, strength and determination of her training, it is not difficult to see why.
Yet refreshingly, the unassuming track star laughs off assertions that she officially possesses the best abs in the world: ‘Really I can’t believe that is true. To me I just look like everyone else, in that world everyone looks good.’
Earning the title of ‘poster girl’ of London 2012, Jessica is the most in-demand athlete out there. Her list of big name sponsors, which include Olay, Jaguar, British Airways and Aviva, put her in line to earn 1m this year with her success delivering her 2m next year, or even more according to experts.
And with her star firmly in the ascendant, the future is looking golden.
But for now, the fresh-faced star is revelling in some downtime. ‘I have just been chilling out; I love going home to Sheffield where the support has been incredible. I am spending lots of time with my fianc, pigging out on takeaways and watching DVDs.
'I tend to spend most of my time with a core group of girls from Sheffield that I have known since school so it has been great coming home and hanging with them. I have also been lucky enough to attend some amazing sponsorship events and get really dressed up,’ she said.
Jessica is relishing the opportunity to channel her love of make-up and clothes and today she is almost unrecognisable in a pair of fitted jeans and sequin-embellished blouse. Her caramel blonde hair is slicked back to display the flawless skin that landed her a campaign as the face of Olay Essentials.
Jessica loves getting glammed-up and has been relishing the opportunity to step out in some killer outfits since ditching her lycra
She achieves her glow with some carefully selected products. ‘I love make-up, I would really recommend Olay wet cleansing wipes, they give you such a fresh look and are super easy to use. The Olay Essentials SPF30 is great too, especially for me when I am outside a lot.’
She has undergone a complete makeover, and wowed last week after ditching her Lycra for a coral pink Alexander McQueen dress accented by a black belt and matching heels for a post-Games party.
‘I love getting dressed up, that has been one of the highlights so far. I absolutely love Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Victoria Beckham dresses but I also love the high street. My favourite store is Reiss so I am really looking forward to some retail therapy now that I have time.’
She is also using the time to plan for her big day when she will wed fianc Andy Hill, who proposed to her on Christmas Eve two years ago.
‘I was doing lots of planning and then I thought “I can’t let this distract me from the Games” so I put it on hold but I will definitely be starting to organise it all, I can’t wait to go looking for dresses’ she says.
The athlete is a Sheffield girl at heart and love returning home to spend time with friends and family there, she says the support has been incredible
She maintains that having a partner helped keep her grounded throughout her competitive years and with Andy always on the other end of the phone, he has been her rock.
‘He has been brilliant. He has just let me go off and do what I need to do and I loved having him down to cheer me on in the stadium with my family too.
'I am really looking forward to spending lots of time with him and we are off on holiday for a few weeks which will be lovely.’
Behind her unpretentious exterior, it is easy to forget that just a few short weeks ago, Jessica was catapulted to international fame and was cheered to glory by the likes of Royalty, politicians and A-list celebrities, but the humble golden girl becomes somewhat giddy when she speaks about one of her fans.
Jessica and her fiancee Andy Hill are excited to resume wedding planning now that the Games are over
‘I literally couldn’t believe Prince William knew my name. He came up to me and said “hello Jess” and I was just like “wow” I couldn’t believe it. He was so lovely, as were Harry and Kate.
'They were all really down to earth and wandered through the Olympic Village chatting to everyone. Both William and Harry are both really good looking! I have also met Jamie Oliver and David Beckham who were both just so lovely too.’
Jessica was voted into the top three in two of the past Sports Personality of the Year awards and it couldn't be more easy to see why.
Behind her six pack of abs lies a cheeky Northern girl living the absolute dream.
Jessica is the face of new Olay Essentials