Walker Jemima Montag embodies “Australian values” as a mannequin to encourage the subsequent era of athletes

Australian walker and reigning Commonwealth Video games champion Jemima Montag says she is accepting the strain to defend her crown inside days of competing on the Birmingham Video games.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Video games gold medal guarantees to be the walker to beat on the occasion, aiming to turn into the primary girl since Jane Saville in 2006 to efficiently defend a gold medal within the stroll.

The occasion distance has been decreased from a 20km highway race and can now be run as a 10km observe race inside Alexander Stadium.

“I am wanting ahead to it being half the space,” Montag mentioned.

Jemima Montag goals to defend her 2018 Commonwealth Video games gold medal at this 12 months’s 10km ultimate stroll in Birmingham.(Getty Pictures: Michael Dodge)

“I actually feed on the power and pleasure of the group. I keep in mind the 2018 Commonwealth Video games on the Gold Coast and there have been so many Australians … who gave us their power for that entire hour and a half.”

In February, Montag broke Saville’s 18-year 20km Australia and Oceania document by 13 seconds. It is a time she displays, after her “tipping level” when he pulled up inexperienced and gold 4 years in the past on the Gold Coast.

“Representing Australia is about embodying the Australian values ​​of friendship and equity and giving your all for one thing. I believe that is what the Australian public actually needs to see us do,” he mentioned.

“Crossing the end line and hitting the ribbon on the 2018 Commonwealth Video games was the primary second I believed in myself as able to competing on the world stage and representing my nation nicely.

“I attempted to benefit from the final two laps and work together with the group and seize the flag, and cross that line, hit the ribbon after which have Nathan Deakes put the medal round my neck.

“It felt like an actual ceremony of passage and a way of belonging after years of combating self-confidence.

“I really feel the strain and the expectation to take dwelling some medals (in Birmingham), however I remind myself that each one Australians and my household simply wish to see us exit and be leaders, set a superb instance for the brand new generations and embody these values ​​.”

Australian walker Jemima Montag stops her watch and smiles after crossing the finish line.
In February, Montag broke Jane Saville’s 18-year document for Australia’s 20km stroll.(Athletics Australia / Steve Christo)

Change of mentality for nationwide document

Montag mentioned Australia and Oceania’s document – a time of 1:27:27 – stems from a motivational shift in psychological strategies. The change lifted the burden off his shoulders, restoring his objectives for the remainder of the 12 months.

“We bought to the end about 30 seconds quicker than the nationwide document,” Montag mentioned.

“Since then I’ve been considering lots in regards to the energy of value-based motivation versus fear-based motivation.

“It was a really big day, I believe it was larger than profitable the Commonwealth Video games or making it to the Olympics or no matter.

“Being the quickest girl within the nation to cowl that distance is fairly cool.”

It was solely a matter of minutes after the race that an exhausted Montag acquired a name from her idol, Saville, who celebrated the end along with her.

“It was nice. I used to be within the tent half useless on the physiotherapist’s sofa, and she or he was there on the telephone, so supportive,” he mentioned.

“I believe it is an actual signal of a superb sportswoman once they simply wish to see their sport go on … and she or he had the document for a few a long time or no matter it was and was so completely happy.”

The significance of position fashions

Regardless of the accolades on the observe, profitable would not appear to be every little thing for Montag. Close to misses are simply as a lot celebration, after ending fourth within the World Athletics Championships by simply 19 seconds in July.

“People have simply determined that 1-2-3 get medals and fourth is some extent away from that. I believe fourth is rocking, it would not suck,” Montag mentioned after the bout in Eugene, Oregon.

Being profitable off the observe and displaying that there’s a human being behind each athlete is simply as essential as Montag evokes the subsequent era of athletes.

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Australian walker Jemima Montag talks in regards to the influence her grandmother had on her

A medical scholar who loves cooking and spending time along with his household, the 24-year-old additionally talks about superstitions; like fortunate quantity three, his fortunate pajamas and a fortunate gold bracelet that he wears from his late grandmother.

“I misplaced my grandmother a few 12 months in the past, simply earlier than the Olympic Video games, and it was solely within the months that adopted that we have been actually in a position to unravel her story as a Holocaust survivor,” Montag mentioned.

“It is one thing he understandably did not wish to discuss a lot, and there was plenty of ache and trauma there.”

A gold necklace grew to become a souvenir for Montag and his two sisters, who break up it into three bracelets to proceed his grandmother’s legacy.

“Now I put on my grandmother’s bracelet as a fortunate allure. And it jogs my memory of that energy and that resilience,” she mentioned.

“It is only a actually tangible reminder of what he sacrificed for dad after which for me to nonetheless be alive. Generally, , sport is hard and it comes with its challenges.

“(However) it is a reminder that I select to be on the market day in and day trip at these competitions doing what I do. And it is laborious, but it surely ought to be enjoyable.”

Australian walker Jemima Montag races on the track at night.
Jemima Montag grew to become the primary Australian observe and area athlete to be nominated on the Commonwealth Video games for the UK marketing campaign.(Athletics Australia / Steve Christo)

Strolling is “a lot larger” than only a sport

Montag is utilizing strolling because the “automobile” to create constructive messages as a mannequin.


“Operating for me is far larger than bodily sport. It is a spot the place I belong and it is a automobile by means of which I can discover my values ​​of in search of mastery, to problem myself, to encourage the subsequent era of girls and boys. , and easily exploring my psychological and bodily limits, ”Montag mentioned.

The Australian champion was chosen as one among solely 25 athletes worldwide – the one consultant of Oceania – within the Younger Leaders program of the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2021 to 2024.

“We’re selecting an pressing native difficulty that we’re obsessed with and that’s linked to the Sustainable Improvement Objectives and we’re constructing an answer based mostly on sport,” mentioned Montag.

I’ve chosen to concentrate on the decline of younger ladies and ladies in sports activities and bodily exercise, which I’m obsessed with as a result of I’ve seen how a lot sport and bodily exercise have introduced me.

“I additionally noticed associates I made by means of sport progressively face boundaries and drop out of faculty and the way troublesome it was for them and the way I used to be virtually kicked out of sport.

“I have been in a position to go all the way in which: What are the distinctive boundaries for girls and ladies in sports activities, what’s pushing them out twice as quick as boys?”

“So the laborious half was what can we do about it? As a result of if we had all of the solutions, I am positive they’d already be in place.”

By way of Montag’s “Play On” program, the imaginative and prescient of making enabling environments by means of training and coaching for younger ladies is altering perceptions.

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Walker Jemima Montag on the exploration of adolescence and puberty as a feminine athlete

“So typically I’ve discovered that women and girls are accused of being lazy or simply not busy sufficient for selecting to give up the game,” she mentioned.

“And we’re not likely asking ourselves if the environments are made for them or in the event that they welcome them or are in tune with their wants.


“I’ve created a crew of 14 skilled ladies who’re very totally different: some Paralympic and Olympic, some are neighborhood leaders, some are docs, others within the political house.”

With 4 matters to deal with positivity – feminine athlete well being, psychological well being, vitamin, and inclusivity – Montag goals for a stronger connection between colleges and fogeys, who typically depend on one another to deal with the hole points. duty in retaining ladies in sport.

“We problem the concept there needs to be a cookie cutter picture of what a feminine athlete appears to be like like who’s tall, blonde, skinny, expert, neurotypical of a sure race,” Montag mentioned.

“I hope that by listening to the consultants in these 4 areas, 15-year-old ladies have what they want to have at their age and that they’re armed with the instruments to deal with any challenges they might face and to assist themselves.

“Having the chance to be a job mannequin for youthful women and girls has added a brand new stage of which means and enjoyable to my sport.

“It isn’t a lonely particular person pursuit anymore, it is one thing I can actually harness and use to make a distinction in different folks’s lives, which is nice.”

That chase this weekend on the Birmingham Commonwealth Video games is one thing Montag hopes to make use of as inspiration for future walkers who will watch her compete.

“It is one thing that could be a actually essential organic indicator of well being that we must always have a good time and be taught to navigate the observe and in life,” he mentioned.

“I’m very attentive to the legacy I depart to the subsequent era, to the phrases I select and what I inform them.

“It would not actually matter what every of us does, it is actually in regards to the ‘why’ behind it.

“And so the ‘why’ is to belong to a neighborhood and to be a superb chief and to encourage youthful ladies and ladies to interact in no matter bodily exercise they get pleasure from taking good care of their bodily and psychological well being.”

Montag will compete within the ladies’s 10,000m Race Stroll ultimate on Saturday at 19:30 AEST.

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