Jessica Deglau (WSWIM | Student-athlete)
NAME: Jessica Deglau
UNIVERSITY: British Columbia
SPORT: Women's swimming
YEARS ACTIVE: 1995-02 (breaks in 1996 and 2000 for Olympic Games)
Two-time Olympian (1996, 2000)
Pan American Games record setter in 200m butterfly
1998-99 and 1999-00 CIS Swimmer of the Year
29 medals in CIS competition
A two-time Olympian and standout at the Commonwealth Games, Jessica Deglau used her time as a student-athlete at UBC to help her reach the highest levels of international swimming.
After swimming for the Vancouver Pacific Swim Club, Deglau was a key part of five CIS national championships at UBC, dominating at the university level with the Thunderbirds over five seasons.
During her university career, the butterfly specialist won 29 medals against CIS competition, taking breaks in 1996 and 2000 to compete at the Olympic Games. At both 1998-99 and 1999-00 national championships she was named CIS Female Swimmer of the Year, helping UBC to team titles both seasons.
At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, the Vancouver native was a finalist in the 200-metre butterfly, finishing sixth and setting a Canadian record in the process (2:11.68). Deglau bettered that national record just two years later at the World Championships, where she finished sixth (2:11.26). She was also a finalist in both the 1996 and 2000 Sydney Games as a member of the 800-metre and 400-metre freestyle relay teams.
At the Commonwealth Games, Deglau captured five bronze medals in two appearances, including four medals at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
In addition to those international successes, perhaps Deglau's most impressive swim came at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. On home soil, Deglau went under the 2:10 barrier clocking 2:09.64 to win gold. That time, which would have earned her the silver medal at the 1996 Olympics, was a new Commonwealth Games record and the second fastest time in the world that year behind only Australian world and Olympic champion Susie O'Neill's 2:07.35. It was part of a six medal performance (four gold, two silver) for Deglau at the Games, where she won two individual golds to go along with two relay golds.
Deglau, who graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts (psychology and speech science) and a Masters in Physical Therapy, is currently a physiotherapist in Kelowna, B.C.
Written by Evan Daum.