Jessica O'Connell

Birth Date
February 10, 1989
Years Practicing
Fast and Female, Motivate Canada Esteem Team

Notable Events

World Junior Championships 2008, Commonwealth Games 2014, IAAF Continental Cup 2014

Early Memory

My very first track club practice. I warmed up with the sprinters, and the next day I was so stiff that I was late for all of my high school classes and had to go down the stairs backwards (and that was just from the warm-up)! For some reason I went back to practice, and the rest is history!

On Your Playlist

Shakey Graves, Joel Plaskett, The Dudes, and many forgotten gems from the early 2000s 

Current/Best Read

Text books - I'm still in school!

Words To Live By

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”


My name is Jessica O’Connell and I’m a track and field athlete from Calgary, Alberta specializing in the 5000m, but I also run 1500m-3000m, cross country, and road races. I grew up Irish dancing, and began running with a track club in Grade 11. Thanks to my dance training, I was already in good shape when I started running, and I found success quickly and had a great time racing and making new friends – motivating me to throw myself into this new sport! I was an All-American and All-Canadian at the University of Calgary and West Virginia University, but suffered many injuries and bad luck including anemia, a shoulder dislocation after being hit by a car, and debilitating Achilles tendonitis. After finally breaking out of the injury cycle, I had a dream-come-true 2014, setting major personal bests in every event and competing at the Commonwealth Games. I’ve continued to build on that this year, qualifying for the Pan Am Games, World Championships, and running the Olympic qualifying time standard for the Rio games. I’m driven but very goofy, and love making puns and jokes with my teammates at practice. Outside of training, I’m working on a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, and enjoy learning the science behind my training and applying it to various research projects.