Our Jewish Australian Olympians

July 22, 2021 by J-Wire Staff
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Jessica Fox, Gemima Montag and Steven Solomon will compete in the Tokyo Olympics with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for tomorrow.

Kayaker Jess Fox won silver in London in 2012 and collected a bronze medal in Rio four years later. The other Sydney-based Olympian Steven Solomon reached the 400m final in London.

Racewalker Jemima Montag will make her debut in these Olympics.

Matt Levy

In the Paralympics, Matt Levy will be swimming for Australia. He competed in his first Olympics in 2004 in Athens. In Beijing in 2008 he won gold as a member of the 4×100 relay team. He won gold in the same event in London in 2012 adding one silver and three bronze medals. Levy picked up a bronze medal at the Rio Games in 2016.

Matt Levy told J-Wire: “It’s been tough with the lockdown and the disruption in training. But it’s all part of working towards to end goal and you keep on pushing. These Games will be different to the previous ones in many ways and will be especially tough because of covid procedures.

We train in a two-hour session daily covering about 200-220 laps. We do this twice daily.”

Competing at a third Olympics will be really special for Jess Fox, who has been “obsessed” by the

Jess Fox Pic: Martin Hladik

Games since she was 10. Both of her parents have also competed at the highest level. Her father Richard was a world champion canoeist and kayaker and competed for Great Britain in the 1992 Olympics.

Jess has faced plenty of challenges leading up to the games, from COVID-19 as well as devastating floods in her hometown of Penrith that cancelled training for weeks over the past year. She is ready for whatever she needs to face in Japa

She posted on Facebook: “Big smiles because we are here & we’re ready! Thank you to my supporters at home and abroad. It means so much!

I am grateful, excited and can’t wait to get out there! “

Melbourne-based Jemima Montag told J-Wire: “Our plan is to dress up in our formal wear and take photos together to celebrate opening night.

Jemima Montag

It has been a long wait and it finally feels real.  There are about 40 members of the track and field team as well as trainers, managers. It has been a dynamic experience so far. The track and field team is so diverse and we are all doing different types of training. We have a gym and track nearby. We train there while others are training and running on the beach path close by where the public cheers them on.

At first, I was upset about the Olympics postponement but have been taking the opportunity this year has given me. I have spent 12 months getting ready, getting stronger, training, and preparing for the Olympics.

We have trainers and coaches available, we are all eating together, getting ready for our events, and enjoying having our Olympic experience together. I am only spending around 6 or 7 days in Japan, bypassing Tokyo altogether as my event is in Sapporo.

I want to give a shout out to the Maccabi family many of which will watch my race at the Classic Cinema in Elsternwick. They are hoping to fill the cinema with my fans. It will also be a special night for my family, who have all been so supportive of me, and they have been a big part of my career.

Jemima will be competing in the women’s 20km race walk which will take place on Aug. 6.

Steve Solomon is part of Australia’s 63-strong athletics squad for the Tokyo Olympics where the 400m runner, is the squad’s co-captain.

Steve Solomon and Luna

Over the past year, training was somewhat restricted and he missed out on a few overseas competitions. Steve has been training and preparing for Tokyo.

He believes that his event chose him. He ran the 200m at a school carnival, stepped up to the 400m event which suited him better, and from there stepped up to other carnivals and festivals and won all of those.
He said: “The 400m suits me, and suits my strength. It has both a mental and physical component and I love the challenge. In the United States, the 400m is considered the golden event. It’s the quarter-mile and I love the event.Athletics teaches us lessons that you can’t learn in any classroom. I have been asked questions by parents who worry about their children studying or excelling in the classroom. I tell them that there is tremendous value in regards to sports. There is perseverance and preparation. These skills can set you up for life. Whether you explore sports, arts, music, anything, you can find your passion, push yourself, and you will find the skills to help you for the rest of your life.I have a great team behind me. They make sure that I stay disciplined, and I focus on my training, sleep, food and eating, my social life, and my working life. You become very attuned to your body, so even when you push yourself to your limits, it is being intentional about everything that you are doing.

When I say pushing myself, I work and train closely with a team of people behind me. I have to be cautious, to be intentional, and to know my body. I know my body well, and we use techniques during my training sessions.

Being mentally prepared is just as important, so it means that I show up every day and  I give the best I can.”



3 Responses to “Our Jewish Australian Olympians”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    Lets hope some of them win a medal or are well placed for Australia. Jess Fox is an experience athlete who I have read about over the years here on J-Wire. Remember winning is not everything but competing to your best, and fairly, is just as important. Good luck everybody.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      02:45 Hrs. I Just watched Fox who is through to the next round being second fastest behind the German Funk.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      0300 hrs Fox was 3 seconds faster that Funk in the second run. She is on top of the leader board now Channel 7 said tonight.

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