Despite feeling like she’d been “hit by a train,” Langley’s Georgia Ellenwood toughed it out and still managed to set a new personal best of 1.83 metres in the high jump of the women’s heptathlon at the Tokyo Olympics.
“That was one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to endure,” Ellenwood commented.
“But I didn’t make it to the Olympics just to make it to the Olympics.”
It was extremely hot and humid in Tokyo on the day of the women’s heptathlon, with temperatures of 34 degrees recorded in the morning, but Ellenwood was unsure whether she was suffering from dehydration or heat stroke.
“I had to dig deeper than I’ve ever had to before in a competition,” Ellenwood shared.
“I was going to finish, one way or another.”
She described trying to push through the first couple of events while nausea, fatigue and dizziness kept building.
“I faced the worst of it in the hours before the 800 metres,” Ellenwood recalled.
“If I breathed too deep, I would vomit. What a way to turn 26!”
Ellenwood finished ninth of 10 runners in that event, one of seven track and field events in the heptathlon, under a points system that awards higher scores for better results in each of the seven components.
Several days later, she was still recovering, ” but I am so proud of myself for finding my way across the line.”
Ellenwood is a Langley Secondary School graduate who lists Langley Mustangs coaches Kim Chapdelaine, Dwayne Lotnick and Brent Dolfo among her biggest inspirations.
She collected many medals and top honours as a student athlete in Langley, including the 2010 B.C. Summer Games held in the Township, where she won four gold medals, and was presented with the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence, as the top performer at the Games.
She followed up in 2011 with another four gold medals, when Ellenwood was named the most outstanding female performer at the B.C. high school track and field championships.
Ellenwood went on to become an eight-time NCAA All-American (six First Team, two Second Team) at the University of Wisconsin.
She had a memorable 2018 season when she won the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships, the Pan American Combined Events Cup, and the Canadian Championships.
That was after she missed the entire 2017 outdoor season because of breaking her foot on her jumping leg.
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