IT was tears across the globe as Jodi Elkington overcame her demons and personal tragedy to take gold in the long jump at the Commonwealth Games early yesterday.
In Glasgow it was mum Cindy on hand as the cheer squad for her daughter as the cerebral palsy sufferer pulled out a personal best with her first jump and followed up with two more on the way to victory in the “showcase” event.
More than 15,000 kilometres away, it was dad David and brother Ted in their Wodonga home.
They knew of the pressure that had forced their daughter and sister to give the sport away for six months after the London Paralympics and the tragedy of losing her fiance’s mother to cancer on the day before she flew to Scotland.
“There were plenty of tears this morning,” David said yesterday.
“But if you know Jodi you know once she sets her mind to a task there is not going to be a lot that will stop her.
“She gets her determination from her mother, who was there, but she was supposed to be part of a larger cheer squad that included her fiance and his family, so there is a little bit of sadness around the fact they couldn’t be there.”
Elkington, 21, has also jumped seven places to be world No. 1 this year after a series of PBs during the competition in Glasgow.
David said the triumph was sweeter following the disappointment at London.
“I spoke to them not long after the event this morning and they are pretty pumped,” he said.
“They were headed out to dinner and Jodi was planning on having a hamburger and chips — she hasn’t had anything like that for the best part of 12 months.
“She had her battles at the AIS and suffered under the pressure, giving the sport away for six months after that.
“But this win means she is now focused on Rio (Olympics).”
David said Elkington had special leave to head home to her fiance tomorrow but would then plan for an even bigger event.
“She’s determined to go to the world athletic championships next year and then the Olympics the year after that,” he said.
“In between she needs to find a date for her wedding that won’t interrupt her preparations for either.”
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