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Australian canoeing legend Jess Fox can thank a condom for helping her win a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier in the week — before Fox won her first Olympic gold medal in the women’s C1 canoe slalom and bronze in the canoe slalom K1 final — she shared a video repairing the damaged nose of her kayak using a condom.
“Bet you never knew condoms could be used for kayak repairs,” Fox captioned a TikTok video that showed a condom securing a carbon mixture to the front of her kayak. She added that the condom’s stretchy latex gives the carbon a “smooth finish.”
Condoms aren’t hard to find inside the Olympic Village, as athletes were given a sizable amount upon arrival — a longtime tradition of the Olympic Committee to promote a safe and healthy environment. This year’s games also included sustainable cardboard beds.
This year’s condom tally reached up to 160,000.
That wasn’t the only unexpected moment of Fox’s experience at the Summer Games.
Before the 27-year-old won her first gold medal — which was nine years in the making — she ran around the back of a group of tents at Tokyo’s Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre to vomit in secret.
When she remerged to compete in the women’s C1 canoe slalom, she met with her coach and mother, Myriam — a former canoeist, who competed in the Olympics.
“I told her that I’d thrown up,” Fox said. “I was like, ‘I feel really good, but I just threw up, so I’ll be alright’. And then we fist bumped.
“Whatever I‘d had between the runs didn’t sit well and then I just thought, ‘OK, my body’s ready, that’s just my body telling me to get ready for something big’,” Fox explained. “So it’s always about reframing those things and putting it into a positive.”
Fox won gold in the women’s C1 canoe slalom with a time of 105.04 — three seconds ahead of her friend and rival Mallory Franklin of Britain.
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