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London Olympics 2012

Jade Johnson


Jade JohnsonJade JohnsonJade JohnsonJade JohnsonJade Johnson

Jade Johnson, born 7 June 1980 in London, is an English athlete specializing in the long jump. Strange, but true - Johnson is allergic to sand. Johnson came second in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Later she won the silver medal at the 2002 European Championships and finished fourth at the 2003 World Championships. Her personal best is 6.81 meters, an Olympic qualifying distance, achieved in 2008 during the European Cup, where she placed second. In 2006 she had a public confrontation with fellow British athlete Kelly Sotherton with the media claiming they openly threw insults at each other. Kelly Sotherton had been British number one at the long jump and heptathlon at the time, with Jade just having returned from a serious injury. In November 2007 she had her lottery funding removed making it harder for her to return to top rank competition. However, since then, she has set personal bests in the 100 meters and 200 meter sprints and in the long jump. She has also stated that she is now enjoying the sport more. She came seventh in the final of the long jump in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a jump of 6.64 meters.

She was very frustrated with her own performance and expressed a dissatisfaction that the winner, Brazilian Maurren Higa Maggi, had previously tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Johnson was selected to represent Great Britain at the 2009 European Indoor Championships but had to withdraw due to an injury. On 25 August 2009, it was announced that she would compete in the 2009 series of Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1 with professional dancer Ian Waite. During final dress rehearsal for the 14th November edition of the show, Jade suffered a serious injury to her right knee, and therefore was forced to withdraw on the 21st November. She stated that she was "devastated" to withdraw but had to be "realistic" and praised her dance partner Ian Waite for his support. Johnson returned with the other celebrities to perform at the final, and was given an extended time slot so she could perform the Tango that she had been due to perform before having to pull out.

Troubled by a knee injury, Johnson opted for surgery and then came a short-lived comeback in 2010 as she battled with chronic fatigue and tiredness. As a last resort, she wrote to Paul Chek, a renowned American expert on exercise education in a bid to find a solution to her problems. With his help she has returned to full fitness; she now writes a blog for him as a thank you. Diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome – causing an inability to produce hormones – Johnson also called time on her 2011 season and looked to all intents and purposes to have no chance of making the Olympics in her home city next year. However, she is now back training at Crystal Palace in a bid to return for the 2012 outdoor season and prove her doubters wrong – including UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, who she says has written off her Olympic chances entirely.

In her first full interview for two years, the 31-year-old recalled: "There were times when I was broken and there seemed to be no one who could fix me but that’s where people like Paul came in – he helped me turn it around. The thing that gets me up in the morning is the Olympics. Since the Games in Beijing I’d not really been myself, I was always tired, I thought I had glandular fever; 2009 was a nightmare year and I tried to come back in 2010 but I was exhausted. I needed to find out what it was and it turned out to be adrenal fatigue syndrome. It was one thing having injuries but this was something else entirely. I had to ask “is this what I really want?”. Ninety-five per cent of me was thinking 'put your feet up, have babies, have a life' but five per cent said yes."

Yet Johnson remains baffled by the lack of a relationship with Van Commenee, who recruited Anguillan long jumper Shara Proctor this year. "Charles doesn’t even mention me," she said. "I’ve lost funding for the second time. In 2007 it was the best thing that ever happened as I came back and finished seventh in Beijing." She is, however, keen to stress she is happy to instead work with her dream team of Chek and long-time coach John Herbert. "I don’t like being dictated to. I love proving people wrong and this is about finishing what I started, whether that’s with a medal or not. I’m just so excited about competing again."

Follow Jade on Twitter @Jadedragon7 and discover more about her Olympic journey at www.jadedragonreturns.com

source: www.wikipedia.org







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