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Athletes

Jessica
Ashwood
AustraliaAustralia, AUS
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
28 April 1993
Height
173 cm
Family
Partner Josh Maude
Residence
Chandler, QLD, AUS
Languages
English
Higher education
Criminology, Psychology - Griffith University: Gold Coast, QLD, AUS

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up swimming at age four at Canterbury swimming pool in Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Why this sport?
Her grandmother was a swimming coach. "My grandmother was my learn-to-swim and first squad coach."

International Debut

Year
2011
Competing for
Australia
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Shanghai, CHN

General Interest

Nicknames
Jess (results.gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017; olympics.com.au, 2012)
Memorable sporting achievement
Placing third in the 400m freestyle at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia. (results.gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her parents and her coach Vince Raleigh. (results.gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017; olympics.com.au, 16 Jul 2016)
Hero / Idol
Australian surfer Layne Beachley and Australian swimmer Jack McLoughin. (results.gc2018.com, 01 Oct 2017; olympics.com.au, 10 Apr 2012)
Injuries
She withdrew from the 2016 World Short Course Championships in Windsor, Canada, due to illness. (swimswam.com, 21 Nov 2016)

She sometimes has recurring neck and back pain due to scoliosis. (theaustralian.com.au, 02 Apr 2014)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness." (swimming.org.au, 23 May 2015)
Famous relatives
Her brother Chris competed in swimming at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. (olympics.com.au, 2012; olympics.com.au, 09 Oct 2008)
Other information
RETIREMENT
She decided to retire from competitive swimming after competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. She was diagnosed with scoliosis [curvature of the spinal cord] as a teenager, and then learned to train and compete with a curved torso. She underwent surgery on her spinal cord in January 2019. "The space away from the sport has allowed me to really appreciate what I was able to achieve. I wasn't in any pain at that time [initial diagnosis with scoliosis] so we didn't go ahead with the surgery. Somehow having two curves balanced me out a bit and I had been swimming since I was so young. That must have helped. However, [the doctors said] I would definitely need corrective surgery after I retired. Racing against the best swimmers in the world is hard enough. Doing it with pretty severe scoliosis doesn't help." (playersvoice.com.au, 27 May 2019; smh.com.au, 25 May 2019; swimswam.com, 24 May 2019)