Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Ennis aiming for 7000-point mark in heptathlon

Leave a comment

British heptathlete Jessica Ennis surpassed the high expectations of a nation this summer when she won gold in front of her home crowd in London.

Now the champ is setting her goals even higher. 

Ennis says she’ll aim to be only the fourth woman ever to break the 7000-point barrier in the seven-event heptathlon when she competes at the world championships in Moscow next summer.

“Your motivation levels are very different,” Ennis told the London Telegraph. “It’s just getting back into it and looking forward to the next championship.

“The World Championships are going to be the main focus for next year, preparing and being where I need to be. I’m still 26, I’ve got time to achieve a bit more, and it’s about re-setting your goals.”

Ennis barely missed the 7000-point mark during the London Olympics, as she totaled a British record and top-five all-time score of 6,955 after winning the 100m hurdles and 200m and 800m races.

Ennis still isn’t sure if she’ll take a shot at the open 100m hurdles in Rio after clocking 12.54 seconds during the heptathlon competition in London. Her time would have good enough for fourth place, just ahead of American track-star-turned-bobsledder Lolo Jones, but Ennis’s coach isn’t keen on the idea.

Instead, she seems content to focus on winning another heptathlon world championship… for now.

Amy Purdy, Winter Paralympic medalist, to perform at Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony

Amy Purdy
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Amy Purdy made her name as a snowboardcross bronze medalist at the Sochi Paralympics and runner-up on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2014.

In September, she’ll combine both.

Purdy will perform as a dancer in the Rio Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Sept. 7, in addition to being an NBC reporter during the Games.

She was told her performance will be four to five minutes. On “Dancing with the Stars,” her performances were about 90 seconds, she said. She traveled to Rio for a week of rehearsals in July.

Purdy, 36, survived bacterial meningitis in 1999 but lost both her legs and later needed a kidney from her father at age 20.

“I’m most excited about the concept of this dance,” Purdy said. “Just the idea of man versus machine. A lot of times we feel really limited because of our prosthetics. But this dance, hopefully, will kind of shatter those borders a little bit and allow me to move my body in a way I haven’t done before.”

Purdy is an innovator. She built her own snowboard and is seen as instrumental in getting her sport into the Paralympic program beginning in 2014.

A model, she’s been in a Madonna music video, a Super Bowl commercial, ESPN the Magazine’s Body Issue and competed on “The Amazing Race” in 2012.

MORE: Rio Paralympic broadcast schedule

Sneak peek at Lindsey Vonn’s episode of ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’

1 Comment

Lindsey Vonn‘s episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” will air on NBC on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.

From NBC Universal:

“After roaring across crystal-clear waters in a speedboat, Bear and Lindsey must strip down and swim to shore before inching their way along the rugged coastline. After rappelling down a sheer rock wall, the two get inventive and use a spear-gun to traverse a hundred-foot deep chasm. With the sun setting, they collect a dinner of sea urchins and Bear challenges Lindsey to a swimming competition with hilarious results. Along the way Lindsey shares her journey of love, Olympic glory, and displays the focus and determination that has made her one of the most successful female athletes of all time.”

Vonn is returning from a Feb. 27 crash that left her with three significant left knee fractures.

With 76 career World Cup wins, she is 10 shy of the record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark.

MORE: Lindsey Vonn wants to race men, retire in 2019