Jessica Ennis - The golden girl of 2012
PUBLISHED: 13:53 10 January 2011 | UPDATED: 21:41 20 February 2013
Super-fit athlete Jessica Ennis talks high heels and Olympic hopes
For those who signed up for the gym straight after Christmas and still havent been, spare a thought for Jessica Ennis, the heptathlete who theyre saying could be our golden girl in the 2012 Olympics.
The training from now until next year will be intense for the 25-year-old and she admits that for her, the problem isnt eating too much over the festive season but whether shes getting enough food to fuel her athletic performance.
Phew! No wonder she was taking the chance to enjoy herself while she could, when she turned up for a party at the swish Room restaurant on King Street, to celebrate the opening of the new Omega Trafford centre shop.
Considered one of the pin-ups of the London Olympics, Ennis is also by default , an ambassador of Omega, official timekeeper for the games but for now shes swapped tracksuit and trainers for a sparkly shift and skyscraper heels - arent they dangerous? Might she fall off them?
I wear them occasionally. I obviously dont wear these every day because I dont think I could cope. Its nice to come to events like this and dress up a bit.
So whats it like being the face of the Olympics?
Its quite a bit of pressure but its really nice to be honest, admits Jessica who has already clinched third place in last months Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
Its great to have had a really good year last year and so Im really looking forward to next year and the Olympics, its also nice to be in this position and be looked at as somebody who could potentially win a gold medal, so I can live with that.
Things definitely change for you when you start winning medals and theres lots more media interest and Its nice because its a path into a different style of life - you get to go to certain events and meet different people - but you have to make sure youre training at the same time and not forgetting while were there so its kind of a balancing act.
She never came over from her native Sheffield to Manchester for the 2001 Commonwealth Games but agrees that they were probably important in helping with the success of the London bid.
Weve got so many sporting venues across the country and in Manchester particularly and its great because obviously different countries will come here and prepare and all get ready for the Olympics through the Commonwealth Games and I think that did help
Now shes older though, she enjoys coming to Manchester both for work and play.
I competed here a few times because we had the championships here, she says.
To be honest, Manchester track, bar Sheffield is one of my favourites. I also come here for the shopping, to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols and all the high street shops. Its good to come across and do a bit of shopping.
2011 will without a doubt, be the most crucial year of her life. She might even find herself up there with the likes of Sally Gunnell and Kelly Holmes eventually but for now shes trying to keep her feet on the ground.
Its really hard to imagine what it will be like when the Olympics is finally here, she explains.
Of course the build-up is starting already and everyones really excited and looking forward to it. Hopefully, Ill be in great shape and injury free and stepping into that stadium with a massive home crowd will be - yeah - an unforgettable moment.
She believes the Games will also have a great legacy and has already experienced he buzz around sport it is generating and hopes it inspires younger kids to take up sport and keep it going after 2012, in the same way she was inspired: When I was about nine or 10 I went to a summer camp in Sheffield and that was my first taste of athletics and then I started training every week, met my coach and it went from there.
I definitely followed the athletes, Linford Christie Sally Gunnell, we have so many amazing British athletes, then my coach put a lot of time and effort into nurturing my talent and I think thats why Ive done so well.
In person, Jessica is slight and very pretty but sorry chaps, shes been in a relationship with her construction worker boyfriend 27-year-old Andy Hill.
Hes a site manager so we do completely different things, she admits.
He really likes fashion. Weve been together six and a half years. Its been really good actually because weve been together through our junior years and progressed to where we are now and so hes been with me the whole way and kind of knows how much training I have to do and the sacrifices I have to make, so Im quite lucky.