JEWISH athletes from NSW and Victoria evenly shared the spoils on the 2018 Maccabi Australia Sports Awards winners’ list unveiled last weekend, following each Maccabi state’s own awards nights.
Having recently relocated back to Sydney after six years in the US, 400m runner Steven Solomon found out he’d won Maccabi’s national Sportsman of the Year award for the first time since 2014, just moments after being guest speaker at the Maccabi NSW awards night on March 31, when he also accepted the equivalent state award.
A men’s 400m finalist at the 2012 Olympic Games and a five-time national champion, Solomon, 25, set a new Australian indoor 400m record while representing Duke University last year, he finished in the NCAA top 10, and came 7th in the 2018 Commonwealth Games men’s 400m final.
After congratulating all winners and nominees, Solomon offered some inspirational tips for all up-and-coming Jewish athletes.
“The greatest advice I probably ever received was from my high school sports teacher, who told me that nobody climbs a mountain to get halfway,” he said.
“Don’t try to decide on what your mountain is too early, but once you do, set your goals high . . . and be real with yourself about what you need to work on.
“The other key thing is to have belief, the courage to take a risk, and the mental resilience to keep going after a setback like injury.
“Athletes like Usain Bolt and Sally Pearson are great examples of doing that, and that’s why I admire them both so much.”
Canoe slalom world champion Jessica Fox was named the Maccabi Australia Sportswoman of the Year for the sixth straight time.
Currently training in Spain ahead of the upcoming European World Cup series, the 24-year-old dual Olympic Games medallist became the world’s best canoe slalom athlete of all time, having won both the women’s K1 and C1 World Cup Series titles, and the women’s K1 and C1 gold medals at the 2018 World Championships, taking her world title tally to 13.
The prestigious President’s Award went to Jemima Montag, 21, who burst onto the women’s 20km international race walking scene last year and made an immediate impact, winning gold for Australia at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.
Full list of award winners:
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Steven Solomon, NSW (Athletics)
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Jessica Fox, NSW (Canoe Slalom)
Jemima Montag, VIC (Athletics)
ALL ABILITIES SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR
Matthew Levy, NSW (Swimming)
JUNIOR SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Yonatan Freund, NSW (Karate)
JUNIOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva, VIC (Rhythmic Gymnastics)
MASTERS SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
Joshua Goldstat, VIC (Triathlon)
MASTERS SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
Leora Yates, VIC (Weightlifting)