Paralympic great Madison de Rozario beats out Ash Barty and Emma McKeon for athlete of the year award

Oct 17, 2022
Source: Instagram @ausparalympics

Female Australian athletes have no doubt been smashing records in this year’s sporting competitions.

While many have been raking in the gold, absolutely dominating their chosen sport, it’s para-athlete Madison de Rozario who takes top gong at this year’s Women In Sport Awards.

The wheelchair racer was named Women’s Health Athlete of the Year, ahead of the superstar-studded nomination of tennis legend Ash Barty, Olympic swimmer Emma McKeon, and footballer Samantha Kerr.


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A post shared by Madison de Rozario (@madison.____)

The 28-year-old Perth-born athlete has proven time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned with. Having claimed two gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first Australian to win the New York marathon in any category, then making history at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games as the first Australian para-athlete to take home four Games gold medals.

As a para-athlete, de Rozario has no doubt created history and as per Women’s Health “there’s no athlete more deserving of the title Athlete of the Year than de Rozario.”

Accepting the award, de Rozario said: “Out of the lineup of women that I’ve been able to be alongside, I just had no idea – especially being along the likes of Ash Barty.”

“There were moments like this where it all comes together. Out on the track, you’re racing because you love it and you don’t think of the impact you might be having back home.

“For women’s sports, I couldn’t be more proud of every athlete in this room. I think we get to use this platform to do something that’s so much more important than racing or running a play.

“We’re all doing that, and to be part of that right now, we’re jumping through hoops right now and those that come after us aren’t going to have to do that.”

According to Women’s health, de Rozario’s legacy is not only confined to the sporting arena but also extends into her determination to challenge widespread stigmas around disability.

“I want kids to grow up in a world where they can be an entire human despite the stigma society wants to put on them,” de Rozario told the publication.

Previous winners of the Athlete of the Year award include Ash Party, Cate Campbell, and Samantha Kerr. Meanwhile, retired Paralympic swimmer Ellie Cole was also honoured at the event having been recognised by the federal government as the most outstanding woman in sport.

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