EDMONTON – Arguably the most complete student-athlete ever to represent the University of Calgary, track and field star Jessica Zelinka had a decorated career for the Dinos between 2002 and 2007.
On Tuesday the two-time Olympian became the 100th inductee in the inaugural Canada West Hall of Fame class, as the conference capped the 2019-20 induction season and the celebration of 100 years of university sport in Western Canada.
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.
Bolstered by her experience in university athletics, Zelinka’s burgeoning international career took off after graduation. Her greatest successes came in the heptathlon, including a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. She competed at two Olympic Games, finishing fourth in the heptathlon at the 2008 Beijing Games, before a fifth place finish in London where she also placed seventh in the 100-metre hurdles.
To read more about Zelinka's outstanding career, click here.
ABOUT THE CANADA WEST HALL OF FAME
For the last century, organized university sport has been a central part of the student experience at institutions across Western Canada. Beginning with the University of Manitoba capturing the first Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU) men's hockey banner in 1919-20, student-athletes have been competing to reach their full potential in sport and the classroom, while enriching campus life.
To commemorate 100 years of university sport across Western Canada, the Canada West Hall of Fame was created in the spring of 2019, with the first induction class set to be unveiled throughout the 2019-20 season.