Date: August 04 2012
Because of the intervention of her father Richard 12 years ago, Australian teen Jessica Fox had a silver medal around her neck yesterday.
Without the former Great Britain Olympic representative and world champion, canoe slalom would almost certainly not be a sport at the London Games, let alone Jessica standing on the medal dais.
Back in Sydney in 2000 funding issues meant slalom was facing the axe, until Fox launched a worldwide campaign to ensure the Penrith Whitewater Stadium was built, after being appointed the national coach.
Yesterday, all the tireless work and millions of dollars raised paid off in ways he could hardly have imagined, as 18-year-old Jessica produced the best run of her fledgling career to secure a medal.
''That's why we ended up in Australia,'' Jessica's mother Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi said of their battle to keep slalom in the Olympics.
''It was our first Olympics with the team in Sydney.
''It was long before Jessica came into the picture [competitively].'' With a French mother and English father, Jessica smoothly transitioned between the two languages during the post-event press conference.
She revealed she has had a membership to the kayaking association in Marseille since she was born, thanks to her grandfather.
But the young woman - who was dux of Blaxland High School and has singing and swimming among her other talents - was proud as Punch to be an Australian standing next to the woman who beat her during the medal ceremony, France's own Emilie Fer.
In the moments before her final run, Jessica could hear the crowd work themselves into a frenzy as Britain completed a memorable gold-silver quinella in the C2 men's event at the Lee Valley course.
The packed grandstands roared as she posted her time, perhaps knowing the connection to the host country because of her father.
The family of Kynan Maley, who with Robin Jeffery was knocked out at the semi-final stage of the C2 slalom final, were among those that donated to Fox's cause to build the Penrith centre.
Maley and Jeffery, both from Western Australia, now live in Sydney and made the Olympics because of the facility available to them in Australia.
Richard's legacy is immense internationally, he's the second vice-president of the International Canoe Federation and has won five individual world championships and finished fourth in Barcelona in 1992.
Earlier than expected, Jessica's time arrived when she finished second, only being denied the gold by a special run from Fer, who stopped the clock just 0.61 ahead of her.
Jessica was just six when she came to Australia with her parents, but her achievement yesterday signalled a long and successful Olympic future.
''We moved to Australia in '98 for the Olympic Games in 2000 and stayed ever since,'' she said.
''I guess I'm very lucky to be from Australia. I could have been competing for France or Great Britain, but Australia is my home now.
''Both my parents competing in the Olympic Games is something pretty special and it definitely inspired me to get to this position, winning a medal is something that you dream of and I'm proud to follow in her footsteps.''
Her mother won bronze for France in Atlanta.
Fox-Jerusalmi's great adversary, Czech veteran Stepanka Hilgertova won the gold in 1996, but yesterday Jessica turned the tables on the now six-time Olympic veteran, who finished fourth.
''She's an amazing competitor,'' Jessica said of 44-year-old Hilgertova. She came fourth at her sixth Olympics, that's amazing.''
In the dizzying moments after stepping down from the dais - the large silver disc fumbling around in her hands like a child's new toy on Christmas Day - Jessica took pleasure out of surpassing her mother's Olympic success.
''I hadn't thought about that yet, but now I have silver and mum got bronze, that's kind of cool,'' she said.
''I beat her, but it's a different time in a different race, so I can't really compare.''
Myriam, as her mind was racing and her face was beaming with pride, said Jessica's age meant her daughter could one day be remembered as the greatest of them all in the Fox clan.
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