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Posted: April 20, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Olympians Jessica Zelinka and Nathaniel Miller Plan for First Baby

With the Support of Athletics Canada and Personal Sponsors Zelinka Renews Commitment to London 2012

Calgary, Alberta -- Following their return from the Beijing Games, Canada’s top-ranked heptathlete, Jessica Zelinka and her fiancée, and member of Canada’s water polo team Nathaniel Miller, announced that they are expecting their first child in June 2009.

Jessica, who finished fifth at the Beijing Games, is looking forward to adding the role of mom to her routine and welcomes the challenge.

"I’m looking forward to my new role as a mother. There will be new demands and different challenges and responsibilities, which will make my return to the track that much more meaningful,” said Zelinka. “I feel I have a lot of room, and plenty of motivation to continue to improve in my event and I remain committed to representing Canada at the highest levels of amateur sport."

Jessica's coach, Les Gramantik thinks the timing is good -- immediately following the Olympic Games in the first year of the quadrennial -- and expects that Jessica will return to training better than ever with the added motivation of competing for Canada while raising a family.

"A return to full training by early next year will provide enough time to prepare for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and give us a full two and a half years prior to London 2012. She is a special athlete," said Gramantik.

According to Athletics Canada, Jessica's funding status will remain stable throughout her pregnancy and into her first year of motherhood.

"We congratulate Jessica and Nathaniel on this wonderful news. After watching her perform in Rio at the Pan American Games and in Beijing at the Olympics I know that she and Les agree that there are a few hundred more points possible for London. We know that no one will be better prepared and we’re fully expecting her to qualify for London 2012," said Alex Gardiner, Athletics Canada’s Head Coach.

Jessica's personal sponsor, CE Franklin has also renewed plans to support Jessica as she takes on the additional role of mom and heptathlete.

"When our company watched Jessica compete in Beijing and she said thank you to us during her CBC interview it really made an impression on us," said Mike Boyles, CE Franklin’s VP of Brand Development. "The impact of Jessica’s performance in Beijing on our employees and customers exceeded our expectations, and now we want to support her to go do it again…as a mom."

For Jessica, the support of her personal sponsors have really made it possible to focus on having a stress-free pregnancy and a healthy baby while continuing her plans to better her Canadian-record performance (6490 points) in Beijing at the Summer Games in London 2012.

"Nathaniel and I are excited to begin this wonderful journey together, and I'm grateful for his support and encouragement which will enable me to keep my sights high for 2012. Also, having the continued support from Athletics Canada, CE Franklin and Les, will put me in a position where I can resume full-time training with added reassurance and confidence," added Zelinka.

About Athletics Canada:
Athletics Canada is the national governing body for the sport of track and field, cross country running, road running and road racing in Canada. Its purpose is to provide leadership, development and competition ensuring sustainable world level podium performances

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