Jessica Fox would be fitting Olympic flagbearer: Meares

November 8, 2023 by J-Wire
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Chef de Mission Anna Meares believes Jessiica Fox would make a model Olympic flagbearer but the champion canoeist has downplayed talk she could be chosen to lead Australia into Paris.

Jessica Fox Photo: Facebook

Australia’s most decorated Olympic paddler, Fox has become the second athlete officially unveiled on the Australian Olympic Committee’s team for the 2024 Games.

Her gold-medal wins in the C1 and K1 events at the ICF Slalom World Cup final last month made her eligible for early selection.

Fox will become the first Australian canoe slalom athlete to compete at four Olympics, having made her debut at the London 2012 Games as an 18-year-old.

The 29-year-old became a household name when she took out the women’s C1 event at the Tokyo Olympics, the first female Australian paddler to win gold.

Fox was visibly emotional when Meares named her in the Paris team in Sydney on Monday.

“I’ll be one of the most experienced athletes so I’m looking forward to sharing that with my Aus Olympic teammates and doing the best that I can representing Australia in Paris,” she said.

“It was one of my big goals this year to earn early selection to try and meet that criteria to be selected early, because it just allows me more freedom and more time to prepare without having to try and taper and be fresh for those selection races.”

The AOC is still some time away from making a call on which athletes will carry the flag for Australia in Paris.

Swimmer Cate Campbell and basketballer Patty Mills shared the honour in Tokyo, their fourth Olympic Games.

Cyclist-turned-Chef de Mission Meares was the flagbearer for Rio de Janiero, her own fourth Olympic campaign, and considers Fox a strong option.

“She’s a wonderful human being, let alone the accomplishments that she’s achieved through sport,” said the dual gold medallist.

“With respect to every team member who hasn’t been announced yet, we’ve only announced two, (we have) potentially up to 478 other people to consider as well and they are exceptional people.

“But Jess definitely embodies all the qualities that would make a great flagbearer.”

Fox laughed off the speculation.

“It’s very early days to be wondering about flagbearers,” she said.

“It would be an incredible honour to be named flagbearer but I think I’ll just enjoy being part of our two-person team for now, watch the team grow, support my teammates.

“I’m just looking forward to being part of that in Paris.”

The addition of the Kayak Cross in Paris presents an opportunity for Fox to medal in a third different event, but K1 gold is a prime target.

She was favourite in the event in Tokyo but time penalties consigned her to bronze, to go with bronze and silver at the previous two Games.

“I’m going for three events and hopefully to do my best in all three (is the goal),” she said.

“The K1 is the one that has escaped me a little bit.

“Winning three Olympic medals in that event would be such a proud moment in my career but I’m just always chasing to do the best run that I can on that day.”


One Response to “Jessica Fox would be fitting Olympic flagbearer: Meares”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Some good news finally.

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