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Jessica Ennis: It'll be a surprise who wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Nicola McCafferty
Yahoo Lifestyle
14 December 2012

Jessica Ennis is preparing to go head-to-head with some of the biggest sporting talent for the crown of BBC Sports Personality of the Year this weekend.

The gold medal winning heptathlete is going up against the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Sarah Storey and Mo Farah for the coveted title this Sunday.

But while she became the poster girl of the Olympics 2012, Jess admits even she can't predict who will take the title this weekend.

"I honestly couldn't choose who I'd like to win," she told us. "Everyone [has] had amazing years and achieved so much. 

[Related: Jess Ennis reveals her body hang ups in new interview]

"[We've all had] different journeys or paths for whatever [we've] achieved, so it’s really to hard to pick one person ahead of anyone else."

Instead, the world's finest all-round female athlete will just be trying to take the whole evening in.

She grinned: "I’ll be there just enjoying my evening and it’ll be a lovely surprise to see who wins!"

The 26-year-old has got good reason to sit back and take it all in too. This year we've seen Jess cement herself as one of the greatest female athletes in history, shrugging off immense public pressure to take the gold in her event.

She'd be forgiven for relaxing her gruelling training schedule after achieving her dream, but - ever the focused athlete - Jess says there's always a new goal on the horizon to be working towards.

[Related: Jessica Ennis earns her fashion title in dazzling Alexander McQueen dress]

"As an athlete, there’s always a championship - there’s always a big goal that you’re focused on," she told Yahoo! Lifestyle.

"When you take time off you do see differences in your body, which everyone else probably wouldn’t notice, but you do in yourself.

"You feel a bit softer in places. And that, as an athlete, makes you want to get back into and push yourself again."

She added: "Your body is your tool at the end of the day and it needs to be in a certain shape and condition for it to perform at its best."

So what keeps her motivated when she's already won a gold medal?

"I find it really hard to motivate myself," she admitted.

"But I always think about the benefits I'm going to get. Once you're in a routine it’s so much easier because you just keep going and going.

"But when you stop and have a break your body gets used to that, then when you start back it’s even harder. I suppose I just motivate myself by thinking if I just push a bit harder then I'll see big changes."

Like the rest of us, Jess finds it hard to get up and go in the cold too: "I know it’s hard [to train in winter]. I find it hard when it’s raining and I just don’t want to get out and do hill runs."

Jess explained that having a goal, whether it's a gold at the Olympics or just to run a 5K, is something we all need.

"For a normal person just training, it’s always good to have a goal – whatever that might be. Whether it’s a half marathon or something you’re working towards."

The 26-year-old might have had the eyes of the nation - and the world - on her this year, but she said she wouldn't have changed a moment of it.

"It was such a build up to the Olympics and there was so much pressure on me," she told us.

[Related: Jessica Ennis shows off her toned figure at Cosmopolitan Women of the Year Awards]

"But I wouldn’t have changed anything. The whole build up was brilliant.

"But when you actually achieve your goal or your dream, it’s such a strange feeling. I always feel like I'm pushing and I can nearly touch it, but I'me not quite there.

"So it was a really strange feeling to have actually have done it. It just felt really different. It was hard to put it into words."

Naturally, Jess felt a sense of relief when the Olympics were over.

She explained: "Not [having that] feeling like I have to train right now or I'm going to let myself down and the whole country down, [is great].

"Since the Olympics, I've been able to do different things and meet different people. Just things that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do."

The British athlete's excellence aside, Jess has become a role model for young women around the world.

Displaying her uber-toned physique in her sports kit on the track and field at the Games, Jess' ripped abs took up almost as many column inches as her achievements.

And for Jess, putting out a different, healthier image to younger generations is of huge importance.

"Sport has been pushed into the forefronts of everyone's minds this year," she said.

"And it’s nice that I've had the opportunity to do some great photoshoots and be on the cover of fashion magazines which never really happens that much.

"It’s a great opportunity to put a different image out there for girls to aspire to want to be like, which is a really healthy figure."

There's no chance of Jess, whose training regimen will continue right through Christmas, will be worrying about losing weight as a result of all the press she's getting either.

She told us that she's completely focused on eating right and keeping on top of her training.

"I suppose I don’t feel that much pressure because this is how I look because of how I train," she explained.

"I'm not on a really strict diet; I just train hard and eat healthy and do all the right things."

Jess Ennis is #allin wearing the new adidas women’s spring summer collection available at adidas.com from January 2013.

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