Cool runnings: Jana trades hospital scrubs for the icy slopes as she competes in the winter Olympics

Jana Pittman and Astrid Radjenovic 

Jana Pittman and teammate Astrid Radjenovic 

UWS medical student, Jana Pittman, is temporarily swapping a stethoscope for a bobsled, as she gets ready for the Winter Olympic Games being held in Sochi, Russia, starting on 7 February.

A member of Australia’s biggest-ever Winter Olympic Team, who is competing in the women’s bobsleigh event, Jana, is well known to many Australians as a stellar track and field athlete who has represented her country at the highest level.

What might not be quite as well known, is that when she’s not training and pursuing her new career in the thrilling winter sport of the bobsleigh, Jana is also a University of Western Sydney Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery student based at the UWS Campbelltown campus.

A two-time World Champion 400-metre hurdler, who counts among her many representative achievements competing in the Sydney Olympic Games and Athens Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004 respectively, Jana is about to make history by becoming the first Australian female athlete to compete in a summer and winter Games.

Jana is joined by her Aussie teammate Astrid Radjenovic in the women’s bobsleigh event, which begins on 18 February at the Sanki Sliding Centre.

Together, they will take on the world’s best in the sport that is dubbed “the Formula One race on ice”, where the athletes push a sled that weighs between 130-140kgs, and can reach speeds of over 130 km/h.

Realistic about their medal chances, they say they are hoping for a top eight finish in Sochi.

Rest assured, with many supporters here at the University of Western Sydney, the good wishes of all UWS students and staff will be with both Jana and Astrid, watching and cheering them on.

Latest updates on our 2014 Australian Olympic Team(opens in a new window)

You can also send Jana and the team good luck messages through social media via @AUSOlympicTeam and @JanaPittman, and using the hashtags #Sochi2014 and #ASPIREtoGreatness


5 February 2014

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