Sport: Swimming, 400 meter medley
Water nymph Alessia Filippi started swimming at only three years old. Today she’s earned a European championship title and holds Italy’s record time for the 400 meter medley and the 200 meter backstroke. While Filippi participated in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, she says maturity has enhanced her performance. “I have grown up, and now I face the Olympic Games in a different way. I strongly hope to achieve something important,” says Filippi, who wants to pursue a post-competition career in politics.
Name: Jessica Ennis
Sport: Track and field, heptathlon
Little was known of England’s Jessica Ennis before she won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, last summer. The victory marked the arrival of the new star on the British team, where she now ranks as Britain’s number-one heptathlete and seventh worldwide. Already qualified for the Beijing Games, Ennis continues to score new personal bests.
This article was originally published on January 10th, 2008 in WWDFAST, a supplementary publication of WWD available to subscribers.