Local canoeist, Jess Fox, will go for Gold in Tokyo

Inspiration: Jessica Fox (right) talking to Blaxland High School students during her visit in 2016.
Inspiration: Jessica Fox (right) talking to Blaxland High School students during her visit in 2016.

Jessica Fox will be pulling on the green and gold for Australia for a third time at this month's Tokyo Olympics.

The 27-year-old ex-Blaxland High school student has made a great name for herself, being called by some the "greatest paddler of all time", having won 10 world championship medals (seven gold) and seven world cup titles.

She has represented Australia at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, where she won Bronze and Silver in the women's K-1 canoe slalom.

The ex-Blaxland High School student said it was "super special" to be heading to a third Olympics and she is privileged to be representing Australia in canoe slalom.

"Especially these games with the addition of the C1 event and being the first Australian C1 women's representative at the Olympics," she said.

"It will be the first time we have gender equality in my sport at the Olympics so it should be a special moment to be part of.

"I believe I've had some great experience in London and Rio that will help me for Tokyo. I think of each race as an opportunity to learn and use as experience.

Fox said winning the Gold medal is a dream goal for her, but that she can't control that or her competitors.

"So, the focus is on getting to the games in good shape and doing the best race runs I can do," she said

COVID was a difficult time for Fox and said her training was disruoted in many ways, for a few months.

"It was challenging," she said. "Being in Australia, with the border restrictions and quarantine, meant that we were quite isolated from our competition and training and racing opportunities in Europe, where we spend much of the year.

"I had to be a bit more creative with training and stay positive and open minded.

"In the end, I focused on elements of my training that needed work eg I did a lot more gym and have gotten stronger so I think there some positives to take away."

Fox said she was excited to just be on the startline in Tokyo.

"I'm so excited to finally race after the postponement," she said. "I'm especially looking forward to the C1 women's event."

Fox's family has a legacy in paddling, with both of her father and mother having competed in the Olympics, in 1992 and 1996, respectively.

She said it was very special to have her parents and sister also involved in the sport.

"We share the same passion and we've shared some incredible experiences together," she said.

"I feel very lucky to have mum as my coach and Noemie (her sister) as a training partner, teammate and competitor."

Fox said that the title she's given by many of "World's Greatest Paddler", isn't something she really ever thinks of.

"It will probably be something I reflect on at the end of my career, but I am proud of my career so far and feel like I still have more in me," she said.

"Each race is a new experience and opportunity and that's how I always approach it.

"I think pressure and expectations around medals and results are misguided because you actually can't 'expect' someone to win. The only expectation that counts is the one of doing your best and for me my expectations are to paddle to my potential. The rest is out of my control.

Fox said it was great to have the support of Penrith and Western Sydney when she competes.

"It's been really hard on our young athletes and national team members throughout this COVID period, because of limited training and competition opportunities," she said.

"So I hope that this games will inspire and motivate them to keep at it and perhaps get some new kids in kayaks.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to Australia to share my experience with everyone."

With the Tokyo Olympics just three weeks away, Fox has little preparation left.

"We have a week of training in Paris before we fly to Tokyo for the pre games training camp on July 8," she said.

"We will be training on the Olympic course until the competition commences on July 25."

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will commence on July 23 and close on August 8.