Jessica Zelinka (T&F | Student-athlete)
NAME: Jessica Zelinka
SPORT: Women’s track and field
YEARS ACTIVE: 2002-2007
2007 BLG Award winner as the top female in CIS
Four-time CIS championship MVP (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007)
Four-time Canada West track athlete of the year (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007)
Won 17 medals at the CIS track and field championships
Two-time Olympian (2008, 2012)
Potentially the most complete student-athlete to ever represent the University of Calgary, track and field star Jessica Zelinka had a decorated career for the Dinos between 2002 and 2007.
Over four seasons competing in women’s athletics for the Dinos, Zelinka was a member of two Canada West championship-winning teams, and propelled Calgary to the CIS title in 2007, with a stellar showing at nationals where she won five gold and one silver medal.
A specialist in combined events, Zelinka was named the CIS Female Track Athlete of the Year in 2004 and its top female field athlete in 2007. She captured a total of 17 CIS championship medals over her career.
She captured a total of 17 CIS championship medals and was named MVP in all four of her trips to Nationals (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007). At the conference level, she was named Canada West’s top track athlete four times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007) and picked up the top field athlete award in 2007.
Bolstered by her experience in university athletics, Zelinka’s burgeoning international career took after graduation. Her greatest successes came in the heptathlon, an event in which she won gold at the 2007 Pan-American Games and was a repeat silver-medalist at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and 2014. She competed at two Olympic Games, finishing 4th in the heptathlon in 2008, then at London where she placed 5th in the heptathlon and 7th in the 100-metre hurdles,
Zelinka was a multi-time Canadian champion in the heptathlon. Her records that stood as of 2018 include fastest time in the 60-metre hurdles and highest score in the pentathlon at the Canada West championships. In 2012 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.