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Jessica Zelinka's Quest for Gold

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Aird & Berlis LLP takes great pride in supporting promising young athletes in their efforts to represent our country on the world stage. For 2005-2006 we were thrilled to be a part of Clara Hughes’ speed skating career, culminating in her gold medal performance at the 2006 Turin Olympics. Clara was named to the Order of Canada in December 2007.

Starting this year, we are pleased to be sponsoring heptathlete Jessica Zelinka in her run up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Jessica is no stranger to winning. Going into the 2007 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships, University of Calgary superstar Jessica Zelinka had won every individual honour since making her CIS track and field debut with her hometown (London, Ontario) Western Ontario Track and Field Team in 2000-01.

The pentathlon and heptathlon specialist was named CIS rookie of the year, athlete of the year and CIS meet MVP in her freshman season and has since added a pair of season MVP awards and as many CIS championship MVP titles since joining the University of Calgary’s track and field team in 2002-03.

Zelinka holds the national outdoor heptathlon record and is ranked seventh in the world in both that event and the indoor pentathlon.

For updates on Jessica’s progress towards the 2008 Olympics, see below. You can also find more information about Jessica by reading her Wikipedia page.

Letters from Jessica:

August 31, 2008: Video profile on Jessica Zelinka from NutVision  watch

August 12, 2008: There are three more days until I compete at my first Olympic Games... read more

June 23, 2008: I am back from Europe, after competing in two major international competitions... read more

May 30, 2008: You would think that I would catch on to a thing called “packing” by now... read more

April 24, 2008: I haven't had too much to report on as I've been busy training... read more

March 4, 2008: I have returned from my training camps in the States... read more

January 31, 2008: Happy New Year (is it too late to say?)! ... read more

December 20, 2007: Happy holidays to everyone at Aird & Berlis! ... read more 

November 27, 2007: It’s been a while since I last wrote. I am adjusting back to my regular routine... read more

October 3, 2007: Hi everyone, I just returned from a 5-day trip to Beijing, China... read more

August 21, 2007: Since I've been back from the Pan Am Games, I've had plenty of time to rest in between my appointments... read more

July 30, 2007: So here I am... gold medal and crutches — win some, lose some... all at once. I won the gold medal here at the Pan American Games... but just barely... read more

June 12, 2007: Hello again! I’m now back in Calgary… it seems like I was gone for a month, not just two weeks... read more

May 28, 2007: Greetings from Austria, I have completed my first competition in Europe… read more

May 20, 2007: Hello everyone! Today I leave for Europe for two international meets, one in Austria this coming weekend (May 26th-27th), followed by another meet in France the following weekend… read more

More Jessica news:

November 4, 2008: Heptathlete Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., was also nominated for the overall athlete of the year  (Canadian Press/Google News)

September 23, 2008: Olympic heptathlete comes back from an injury  read more

August 17, 2008: Zelinka's best effort in Beijing bodes well for 2012 breakout  read more

August 17, 2008: Zelinka finishes sixth in heptathlon, setting Canadian record  (Canadian Press/Google News)

August 16, 2008: Zelinka primed for 2012 after excellent heptathlon  read more

August 16, 2008: Dobrynska wins women's heptathlon; Zelinka 6th  read more

August 16, 2008: Canada's Zelinka still in hunt in heptathlon  (CBC Sports)

August 15, 2008: Zelinka off to quick heptathlon start  read more

August 15, 2008: Solid start for Canada's Zelinka in hetpathlon  (CBC Sports)

August 14, 2008: Zelinka second in Heptathlon hurdles  read more

August 14, 2008: Zelinka has hope  read more

August 14, 2008: Heptathlon 24 hours of pure athleticism  read more

August 13, 2008: Track and field on tap at Olympics  read more

August 13, 2008: Running the gamut  read more

August 12, 2008: Olympic journey ending, beginning for determined Canadian heptathlete Jessica Zelinka  (Montreal Gazette) or listen

August 6, 2008: Gold medal hopes afoot  read more

August 5, 2008: Track and Field team arrives in Singapore  read more

August 5, 2008: Canadian on track for big performance  read more

August 3, 2008: Love story blossoms at Games in Beijing  read more

August 2, 2008: With world champ out of the picture, Zelinka becomes legitimate medal contender  read more

July/August 2008: Jessica Zelinka: Olympic heptathlete comes back from injury  read more

July 21, 2008: Women setting new bar at Beijing Games  read more

July 9, 2008: Zelinka primed for Beijing  read more

July 8, 2008: Zelinka loves her group of seven  read more

July 7, 2008: Jessica Zelinka's aunt was the first to suggest she take a left-footed leap of faith  read more

July 7, 2008: Olympics: Athletics Canada names (nearly) full track squad  read more

July 4, 2008: Zelinka closes in on Olympic berth  read more

July 3, 2008: Jessica Zelinka of London, Ont., led after Day 1 of the heptathlon  read more

July 2, 2008: Zelinka is good to go  read more

June 29, 2008: Jessica interviewed by CBC Radio's The Inside Track  listen

June 4, 2008: Canada's Olympic hopefuls: No. 6 of a series  read more

May 26, 2008: Zelinka generates heptathlon hopes  read more

May 26, 2008: Jessica Zelinka laughs when asked how many heptathlon events the average Canadian can name  (Toronto Sun)

May 14, 2008: Jessica wins Alberta Open Female Athlete of the Year Award  read more

May 14, 2008: Local athletes Alberta's best  read more

May 13, 2008: Alberta Athletes of the Year selected for the 2007 season  read more

March 14, 2008: Jessica hopes change in foot and heart overcomes past injury  (Toronto Sun)

March 1, 2008: Jessica changes technique to be ready for Beijing Games  read more

February 20, 2008: A healed Zelinka is back in training for Beijing  read more

February 7, 2008: Jessica participates in the women's pentathlon in the 43rd annual Knights of Columbus games  read more

October 1, 2007: Jessica interviewed on CBC Radio  read more

July 31, 2007: Jessica expected to be training again by October  read more 

July 30, 2007: Injury takes Jessica Zelinka out of world championships  read more

July 24, 2007: Zelinka already eyeing Beijing  read more

July 15, 2007: Jessica nurses bruised heel, bypasses Canadian Track and Field Championships read more

July 11, 2007: Jessica continues efforts at national & international meets  read more

May 2007: Zelinka is named “A Face in the Crowd” by Sports Illustrated 

What is the Heptathlon?

Definition: (courtesy of Wikipedia) n an athletics contest made up of seven events. From the Greek hepta (seven) and athlon (contest).

The women's heptathlon consists of the following events, with the first four contested on the first day, the remaining three on day two:

- 100 m hurdles
- high jump
- shot put
- 200 m
- long jump
- javelin throw
- 800 m

In each event, the athlete scores points according to the marks achieved. The athlete accumulating the highest number of points wins the competition.

The heptathlon has been contested by female athletes since the early 1980s, when it replaced the pentathlon as the women's multi-event contest (javelin throw and the 800 m were added).