Olympic gold medallist and world champion Jessica Fox has won the Athlete of the Year award at the 2022 Paddle Australia Awards in Sydney.
Fox was recognised for her impressive 2022 season that saw her win five World Cup gold medals, and three World Championships medals (one gold and two silver), plus the overall women’s K1 world cup title.
“It is an honour to win this award and it has been such a great season for me,” Fox said.
“I had some ups and downs, but taking the overall World Cup win (kayak) and backing up the world title in the Kayak Cross (formerly known as extreme slalom), I was really happy with my performances.
“It’s also left me hungry to improve on the areas that I can see there is still more to learn and more for me to give.”
Almost 18 months on since winning gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Fox said it has been business as usual despite the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024 only being 18 months away.
“Coming off an Olympic year, with a big build up especially with the delay it was really different to other years,” she said.
“It’s not that I didn’t have expectations this year, but it was a year of trying new things…getting on the start line and putting down the best runs that I could.
“Next year, 2023, is when it starts to build back up again and we look forward to things like Olympic qualification, so it will be a different year next year.”
2022 PADDLE AUSTRALIA AWARD WINNERS
Paddler of the Year (Olympic Disciplines) – Jessica Fox (NSW)
Paddler of the Year (Paracanoe) – Ben Sainsbury (WA)
Paddle of the Year (Non-Olympic Disciplines) – Michael Booth (WA)
Paddler of the Year (Junior) – Natalia Drobot (NSW) and Mark Crosbee (VIC)
Paddler of the Year (Master) – Brett Greenwood (NSW)
Team of the Year – Women’s Canoe Sprint K4
Coach of the Year – Rene Olsen (Women’s Canoe Sprint Head Coach), Myriam Fox (Canoe Slalom Head Coach)
Club Coach of the Year – Chris Hurley (QLD)
President’s Award – Terry Boland (WA)
Volunteer of the Year – Brenda Hurley (QLD)
Instructor/Guide of the Year – Anne Langsford (SA)
Technical Official of the Year – Chris Thompson (NSW)
Excellence Award – Chris Wharton (VIC)
Olegas Truchanas Award – Matt and David Brain (TAS)
Award of Merit – Aly Bull (QLD), Jackson Collins (NSW) and Kris Smith (WA)
Certificate of Merit – Jordan Wood (QLD), Cat McArthur (SA), Murray Stewart (NSW), Shannon Reynolds (WA), Naomi Flood (QLD), Jaime Roberts (WA), Jo Brigden-Jones (NSW), Lachlan Tame (NSW)
Services to Paddling – Matt Moore (VIC), John Young (VIC), Fred Bahrami (NSW), Sue McDougall (WA), Greg Kaeding (WA)