At the age of 17, Jessica lost the majority of her sight to a rare, degenerative eye disease leaving her legally blind. At the time she was playing representative netball and basketball and was forced to give up her childhood dream of representing Australia - or so she thought.
Four years later, Jessica discovered the Paralympic movement and was selected to the 2008 Beijing Paralympic team in athletics. However, she was sensationally banned from competition after being deemed 0.01% too sighted in one eye.
With further deterioration to her sight, Jessica went on to represent Australia at the Paralympics in alpine skiing, athletics and track cycling, and became the first Australian woman to win a winter Paralympic medal in 2010 and again in 2014.
Jessica won a silver medal in long jump and bronze medal in javelin at the 2011 Para-Athletics World Championships. She went on to win gold and bronze medals at the 2016 Para-Cycling World Championships, where she broke the world record in the tandem match sprint.
Jessica made sport history in 2016 when she became the first and only Australian athlete to win a medal at a summer and winter Paralympics or Olympics, adding a bronze medal for the tandem cycling one kilometre Time Trial at the Rio Paralympics to her two winter medals.
Recently profiled as one of 200 women who will change the way you see the world, Jessica is a motivational speaker, osteopath, Global Ambassador and Board Director for Vision 2020 Australia, and Ambassador for Vision Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia.
She is currently preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she is the sport ambassador for cycling.
Reviewed 12 July 2019