Olympic medalist prepares high jumpers


Meghan DiGiovanna

Pictured are Boyle (left) and some of the high jumpers she works with. They prepare for the upcoming winter track and field season. Sessions focus on technique.

Meghan DiGiovanna

Very rarely do athletes get the chance to compete in the Olympics, and even less often do they win a medal. Dr. Janet Boyle has done both. High jumpers now work with her once a week in preparation for winter track.

Boyle placed 12th for Ireland in the 1988 Olympics, received a bronze medal in the 1986 Common Wealth Games and a silver medal in the 1990 Common Wealth Games.

“I learned things about life, about myself and others that I could never have imagined. Things that have been useful and applicable in so many other ways… it was a privilege [to compete],” Boyle said.

At the qualifying round for the Olympic finals in Seoul, South Korea, Boyle jumped a personal best of six feet four inches.

“It was like a dream that I never thought would be possible and then it came true… unbelievably fantastic,” Boyle said

Boyle now resides in Montgomery and works as a doctor. The past few years she has been brought in to work with track athletes at the SJHS, and she is now helping high jumpers prepare for the upcoming winter track season.

“I love that I have the chance to give back what was freely given to me by so many people whose time and efforts made it possible for me to have the opportunities that I had,” Boyle said.

As an unofficial coach, Boyle’s job is not to practice with jumpers as a track coach would but to pass down her knowledge of the event.

“I hope that [the athletes] can learn the fantastic and intangible things that come through partaking in sport and competition… I pray it will be something positive for [their] lives,” medalist, Boyle said.