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Canadian Profile: Jessica Deglau

Four Medals At First Commonwealth Games


Tyler Lewall

Being an 11-time National Champion carries a lot of pressure when heading into international meets. Jessica Deglau was expected to be the veteran to help lead the Canadian team to the medal podium at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. People tend to forget that she just graduated from high school three months ago and has less than three years international experience. Jessica Deglau did not disappoint, however, and the Olympic 200 butterfly finalist came away with four medals in her first Commonwealth Games.

Although 200 butterfly has been her specialty for the past six years, Jessica was able to add to her bronze-medal performance in her specialty with additional bronze medals in the 200 freestyle, 4x200 free relay, and 4x100 free relay. Deglau also swam finals in three other events, with an 8th in the 100 freestyle, 6th in 400 freestyle, and 5th in 100 butterfly.

200 fly record holder Jessica Deglau
Click image for larger photo. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Deglau began her swimming career at the age of six and joined the Vancouver Pacific Swim Club at age eight. After qualifying for Youth Championships in Lethbridge in 1995, she moved to the PDSA program under Tom Johnson. It was at this time that Deglau's rapid rise began. A little over one year later she was competing in the finals of the 200 butterfly at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, where she finished 6th and set a new Canadian record. Over the next two years she continued to reset her Canadian record, culminating in her medal performance in Kuala Lumpur.

Prior to her races, Deglau likes to spend her time relaxing and making sure she does all her flexibility exercises. She loves the meets and racing and most enjoys when she is able "to put effort into something, do all the work, and see the results" that are produced by her training.

Over the past year, Deglau has been training over 25 hours per week and putting in about 6500 metres per practice. She enjoys doing broken swim sets where she can swim faster than race pace. One of her better broken swims she did before attending the Commonwealth Games was 4x50 butterfly on 60 seconds at faster than race pace, and her broken time was under 2:06.

When asked what her goals are following the Commonwealth Games, Deglau did not want to look farther ahead than the current season. She likes to take it one year at a time and does not like to look too far ahead when thinking long term. With numerous international meets on the calendar for this season, Deglau will have many opportunities to lead the Canadian team on their road to the Sydney Olympics.

Jessica Deglau
Long Course Progression 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992
50 M FREESTYLE 26.75 27.05 28.35 28.15 28.81 30.67 -
100 M FREESTYLE 56.93 58.11 58.14 1:01.46 1:01.51 1:05.84 -
200 M FREESTYLE 2:01.32 2:01.65 2:02.59 2:10.67 2:10.78 2:18.54 -
400 M FREESTYLE 4:15.80 4:17.46 4:19.34 4:31.00 4:34.42 4:45.21 -
800 M FREESTYLE -9:02.69 9:03.40 9:12.41 9:21.23 9:59.28 -
100 M BUTTERFLY 1:01.56 1:02.27 1:02.52 1:03.85 1:05.57 1:08.69 1:15.18
200 M BUTTERFLY 2:11.26 2:11.40 2:11.40 2:15.40 2:19.07 2:29.06 2:53.49
200 M IND.MEDLEY 2:25.13 2:25.89 - 2:28.24 2:30.61 2:43.88 -
400 M IND.MEDLEY 5:05.98 - - 5:14.78 5:12.09 5:37.96 -
Born 27 May 1980, Pacific Dolphin Swim Association, coach Tom Johnson

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