SOME 13,500 kilometres away from Rio de Janeiro, local Olympian Jess Fox brought a little Olympic spirit to Blaxland High as she showed off her new bronze medal to a packed sports centre.
“Its really lovely to be back here,” she said dressed in her green and gold team Australia colours. “Really awesome to see all the students supporting me and supporting all the Blaxland High Olympians.”
Jess came back from Rio a week before the closing ceremony so she could spend some time with family and friends before she jet sets off to Europe for the last two world cup events. Jess said she’s loving being back home.
“After 5 months away it is really great to be back home on your home course and your home whitewater,” she said. “It is nice to do those things that are at home, they keep you grounded and help you appreciate things you take for granted.”
Her home whitewater is the Olympic whitewater facility in Penrith, which she says is her favourite course. “It is still a world class venue and it is my favourite course. I don’t think I’m biased, I know a lot of athletes who really like coming here for training during the winter months in Europe.
“The Rio course was newer and it had this fresh feel to it where everything is brand new. Penrith is getting older but it is still in great nick. Rio was smaller but it has features all the way down,” she said.
Even with the technical course offering up a number of obstacles one of the biggest hurdles Jess had to navigate was the heavy expectations weighing on her from the media, the Australian public and herself.
“You can’t be prepared for that until you’ve experienced it really so that was definitely a big learning curve, knowing how to deal with that expectation and pressure and sort of being able to manage it.
Coming into Tokyo I’m assuming it will already be the same because people are already saying the only medal I’m missing is the gold, so that is already the expectation,” she said.