Jana Pittman is no stranger to extreme training. She’s also used to hard work and pushing herself to the max physically and mentally, having been a familiar face in the Olympics and international sport for 15 years.
It’s no secret that Jana is one to watch, a strong competitor who seems ready for anything SAS Australia will throw at her, but will her strength and resilience earn her the title of SAS Australia 2021 champion? Only time will tell.
The 38-year-old former Olympian has signed on to this year’s season of SAS Australia, alongside 17 other superstars, including actors, singers, other media personalities and other Olympians. But who is Jana Pittman?
The former Olympian is most recognisable for representing Australia at three Olympic games in 2000, 2004 and 2014 in 400-meter hurdles and relays. On the official Olympics website, she is noted for being the first woman to compete in both the summer and winter games for Australia as a hurdler and as a bobsledder!
Jana was also crowned World youth 400 metre hurdles champion in 1999! Wow, what an inspiring woman!
She also clocked her own personal best time in the 400 metres hurdles race in 2003, becoming the youngest 400 m hurdles world champion at that time before suffering a devastating knee injury in 2004, only to return to racing just 15 days later!
More recently, Jana has been an avid supporter and fan of current Olympic athletes such as Liz Clay, Rohan Browning, Daliah Muhammad and Sydney McLaughlin.
While she’s most recognized for her athletic achievements that paved the way for future stars, Jana graduated from The University of New South Wales with a masters degree in reproductive medicine, according to a May Instagram post. Congrats Jana, we stan a strong woman!
She is currently a reproductive nurse at Sydney’s Blackburn Hospital, an advocate for women’s health and an ambassador for the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation.
Athlete, doctor, ambassador, autobiography author, mother of four children, two moodle pups and two ragdoll cats, we wonder, what isn’t she capable of ? We can’t help but agree when her Instagram bio describes her as a ‘powerful, passionate and dramatic woman’. She also is open about recovering from an eating disorder and advocates for young people living with eating disorders to reach out with no shame.
Although she has a vast repertoire of skills and talents, Jana reveals on an episode of the Leadership Lessons podcast that she has tough days too.
“When I’m getting down at work or something isn’t going the way I hoped it was, I allow that emotion to play into me,” she said.
“If I didn’t allow myself to have those days, I wouldn’t have the successful ones as well.”
Her debut on SAS Australia is an example to strong people everywhere. On her official website she writes: “Chasing goals is like building a fire, every day you add more kindle, till one day you light a big and bold and make life an inferno.”
SAS Australia will be a tough environment for her to navigate, but we can’t wait to see how she does! Her track record proves it: she is a dogged
It’s also been confirmed by Popsugar Australia that Jana gave birth to her youngest child only six months prior to the filming of SAS Australia. Wow, talk about dedication and determination!
In the 2021 Channel 7 trailer, Jana told Channel 7: “I lost the Olympics, I’ve lost babies, I’ve lost marriages, I want to make my beautiful children proud,” This course is going to test me beyond anything I have ever done.”
One of the sweetest things SAS Australia fans need to know is that Jana was inspired to appear on this year’s season due to her younger brother, Ryan’s military service. The caption for Jana’s July Instagram post read: “Flashback! My inspiration for doing #SASAustralia and life in general. My amazing little brother Ryan who served his country in our @australianarmy. Our soldiers are my heros!”
The former Olympian is no stranger to heartbreak but even after two failed marriages, she is living her best life with her four beautiful children and her new husband, Sydney businessman, Paul Gatward. You know what they say, third times the charm!
However, the spicy hot tea is that she allegedly was dubbed a ‘drama queen’ in the past after claiming she was driven out of Australia by bad press! So scandalous!
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that this negative publicity was based on 400 metre runner Tamsyn Lewis calling Jana a “bitch”, alongside various bad press concerning Jana amidst her alleged feud with Tamsyn.
The Sydney Morning Herald, also reported that around Feb/March 2006, a bunch of men shouted: “ We love you Tamsyn, we hate you Pitts,” to Jana!
Insiders say the feud between Tamsyn and Jana allegedly began after Jana pointed the finger at Tamsyn after the English 2006 4×400 relay team was disqualified!
Tamsyn’s manager, Rick Olarenshaw, told The Age at the time that “Jana has said Tamsyn is the one who has made a formal protest and Jana’s trying to wash her hands of it”.
So maybe not as innocent as we thought? Jana is definitely no stranger to controversy in the media, so will she clash with any reality stars?
In a deeper dive into her Instagram, she appears to be following most cast members but not all of them such as Lord Henry Shaw ..Hmm.. Also celebrity chef, Manu Fidel doesn’t appear to be following her back. Juicy!
Despite these reports, the former athlete appears to have turned over a new leaf, is living the life of her dreams and seems to have a heart of gold.
Jana comes across as such a kind and down to earth person, we can’t help but root for Jana to reach the end! Go for the gold Jana!
Watch SAS Australia on Channel 7 and 7Play.
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