Jessica Fox produced one of the surprises of the London 2012 Games for the Australian Olympic Team as the 18-year-old paddled to silver through the whitewater course on her debut Games - outgunning all but one of her more experienced rivals.
Having won the 2010 Youth Olympic gold medal in Singapore, Fox secured Australia a women's K1 Olympic quota when she placed 19th at the 2011 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia. Weeks before the Games she gave herself the ultimate confidence boost when she won three gold medals at the 2012 Junior World Championships.
Having capsized in the first run of her heat, Fox showed maturity beyond her years to compose herself and make it through to the semi-final. She recorded the eighth best score to make the final, an enormous feat in itself for the youngster. Fox was third on the course in the final where she recorded a score of 106.51 after putting down the run of her life. She remained in the gold medal position until, with three athletes to go Emilie Fer of France posted a score of 105.90. Fox had a nervous wait to see if she had claimed a medal but the two top qualifiers for the semi-finals could not knock the Australian from her silver medal position.
No doubt Fox's family pedigree in the sport helped her along the way to London. Her father Richard competed for Great Britain in the K1 at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, finishing fourth and was a 5-time World Champion. He was section manager for the Australian canoe/kayak team in 2004 and 2008 and in 2000 he was the Head Coach. Her mother Myriam competed for France at the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, winning bronze in Atlanta in the K1. She was a 2-time World Champion and was a slalom coach at the 2004 and 2008 Games for Australia. In 2012 she was there as her daughter’s coach cheering her down the course.