Ben and Jenny’s


World 1500m silver medallist Jenny Simpson describes herself as an ‘ice cream connoisseur’. SPIKES explores her passion for the sweet treat, and asked her to describe her rivals in ice cream flavours…

What was your first memory of eating ice cream?

"My dad will laugh when he hears this, but when I was young we moved to Florida [from Missouri] and we used to go Disney World a lot. I think it was his way of feeling less guilty about moving all us kids away so young. He would always buy the ice cream with the Mickey Mouse ears and that was my first memory."

How does eating ice cream make you feel?

"Really good. I also don’t have to feel so guilty about it. It’s not entirely bad for you. It’s just milk and sugar."

What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

"Mint chocolate chip."

How often do you eat ice cream?

"When I’m home and in the heaviest training period, it is not uncommon for me to eat it most nights. When I’m on the road and I’m competing, it is more like once a week."

Have you ever made ice cream?

"I started making ice cream at home last year. Homemade ice cream is a favourite treat at the Simpson residence."

Have you ever eaten ice cream when you shouldn’t have?

"I think ice cream the night before a race is not such a bad thing. It is one of those simple things that can put you in a really good mood. I think it is better to be a good mood and excited by a race than to be nit-picking about not having a little bit of extra sugar and calories.

"At the Diamond League in Zurich we stay in the Movenpick – the company that owns the hotels also own an ice cream chain. So, I eat ice cream ahead of the Diamond League meeting in Zurich quite regularly."

If you could describe yourself as a type of ice cream what would it be and why?

"I would be maybe rocky road. Not everything turns out perfectly but in the end it all fits together really well. Life is full of ups and downs and mistakes and surprises, but in the end it all turns into something really beautiful that you really enjoy."

And how about your rivals? What flavour would world 1500m champion Abeba Aregawi be?

"I would describe her as vanilla ice cream, because she was consistently good at every single meet this year. Nothing she did was particularly shocking or surprising, but that’s because she was so good at every single meet and to be undefeated all year that’s really remarkable. So I would say she was vanilla ice cream because of her consistency."

What about British world champs fourth placer Hannah England?

"I would describe her as Cherry Garcia, because I’ve heard it is the most popular ice cream flavour that Ben & Jerry’s sell [which might surprise some].

"In a similar way, Hannah is not always at the front of a race early on, so that’s why I could call her Cherry Garcia because you wouldn’t always expect her to be in the first 400m or one of the strongest competitors, but in the end she always is."

And Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Genzebe Dibaba?

"I would describe her as mint chocolate chip. She’s a really beautiful woman, and Genzebe and her sisters are excellent at a full range of distances.

"I think she would be mint chocolate ice cream, you could put her in anything from the 800m to the 10,000m – and she’d be really good at. Mint chocolate ice cream is always good."