It’s a dream come true. . .

BECAUSE of the intervention of her father Richard 12 years ago, Australian teenager Jessica Fox (left) wore a silver medal around her neck last week.
Nanjing Night Net

Without the former British Olympic representative and world champion, canoe slalom would almost certainly not be a sport at the London Games.

In 1997, the Australian Olympic Committee planned to axe whitewater canoeing from the 2000 Sydney Olympics due to a lack of funding and facilities.

But a worldwide campaign headed by newly appointed national coach Richard helped save the event, with the construction of the Penrith Whitewater Stadium.

All the tireless work and millions of dollars raised paid off in ways he could hardly have imagined, as Jessica, 18, produced the best run of her fledgling career to secure the medal in the K1 slalom final.

“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.”

With a French mother and English father, Jessica smoothly moved between the two languages during the post-event press conference, speaking with confidence and maturity.

The young woman — who was dux of Blaxland High School and lists singing and swimming among her talents — was as proud as punch to be Australian standing next to the woman who beat her during the medal ceremony, France’s Emilie Fer.

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