Gold paddler awarded OAM

Mentor: Visiting her old school Blaxland High

Mentor: Visiting her old school Blaxland High

She has collected medals at each of the last three Olympic games, been named NSW Institute of Sport's female athlete of the year and local woman of the year for Penrith.

Now champion slalom kayaker and canoist, Jessica Fox, has been awarded a medal in the Order of Australia for service to sport.

The former Blaxland High School student won a silver medal in K1 (kayaking) at the London Games in 2012 and followed it with a bronze in the same event at Rio in 2016.

At Toyko 2020, she claimed bronze in the K1 then fulfilled a lifetime dream by taking gold in the C1.

Fittingly, it was an event she had campaigned hard to have included at Tokyo. Men's Olympic slalom races had long comprised both canoe (single-bladed paddle) and kayak (double bladed) events. Women had had to be content with kayak.

Her OAM refers to her battle to have the C1 event included in the Olympic program, citing her advocacy for "gender equality" in the sport, although Fox herself has acknowledged the "many women" who lobbied for the change.

As well as her four senior Olympic medals, Fox also won gold in K1 at the Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. She is an eight-time world champion and has seven World Cup titles.

Fox was also cited for her fundraising for Penrith RFS.