Super League Ottawa: The Remarkable Story Of Pro Triathlete Jessey The Elf
Christmas magic is coming to Super League Triathlon’s final qualifying race in Ottawa – even though it’s only August.
That’s because 24-year-old Canadian swim-bike-run hopeful Jessey The Elf is aiming to win a Golden Ticket into the 2019 Championship Series.
Jessey’s story is one of triathlon’s more remarkable tales.
The two-time Aquathlon World Champion and 18-time Lifesaving National Champion is obsessed with Christmas. His love of all things festive has driven him to having his ears surgically pointed to look like an elf and legally changing his name.
“Jessey The Elf has been a work in progress all of my life,” he explained. “A lot of people love the Christmas classic movie ‘Elf’ staring Will Ferrell as ‘Buddy The Elf” – a human raised by elves – but I’m the opposite, I am Jessey The Elf, an elf raised by humans!
“I’ve grown up obsessed with the Christmas season since I was a young child. Over the years Christmas became a year-round obsession rather than just the holiday season.
“By the time I started triathlon at 15, I had learned that you could legally change your name, and I wasn’t a big fan of my birth name at the time, so at 20-years-old I had my ears surgically pointed to look like a Christmas elf, and legally changed my name to Jessey The Elf – yes, my middle name is The.
“In the past four years I have become Jessey The Elf, wearing my signature elf hat when I race – and spreading Christmas cheer wherever I go.”
Jessey’s inspiration to move into the sport of triathlon began when he watched his uncle compete in Ironman Penticton.
As he grew to learn more about the sport he became a huge fan of Super League co-founder Chris McCormack, ordering signed memorabilia from the internet and even travelling to America to get a cereal box with Macca’s picture emblazoned on it.
Having attended Super League Penticton last year, and met Macca in person, Jessey was inspired to prepare for the qualifier in Ottawa where he hopes to bag one of the three Golden Tickets on offer for the male field into the 2019 Championship Series.
“These fast, short formats definitely suit me,” reckoned Jessey. “Transitions are the unwritten fourth discipline of triathlon and I am extremely fast at switching from one sport to another.
“I do believe that this Super League series could be another launchpad for my career. I am Jessey The Elf and I will use the spirit of Christmas, my elfin magic, and my lifesaving abilities to qualify for the Championship Series.”
Stepping up to the challenge of top-level Super League racing should be another logical step Jessey given those he has already conquered in revealing to the world who he really is.
“At first though a lot of people thought I was insane and looney for having my ears surgically altered for life – and my parents weren’t thrilled about the name change,” he admitted.
“I think it is extremely brave to be different. To have the courage to stand up for yourself and change the way people view you, compared to the status quo of what society deems as “normal”. If everyone was the same that would be boring. I was born to stand out!
“My bravest moments came from being different and being proud to accept that and show the world who I really am. Being vulnerable.
“I told my parents I wanted to be a triathlete. I told my parents I became vegan. I told my parents I was gay. I told my parents I am an elf! Be true to who you are – people will love you for it.”
Read more about Super League Ottawa and enter our Age Group races here