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 moreMore 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).