Ellie Cole and Saya Sakakibara Cover The Women's Health August 2021 Trail Blazers Issue - Women's Health

Ellie Cole and Saya Sakakibara Cover The Women’s Health August 2021 Trail Blazers Issue

The heroes we need.

by | Jul 4, 2021

When it comes to heroes, women in sport have always been some of our biggest trailblazers. Time and time again, they display the kind of bravery and mental toughness that can’t be matched − never afraid to break down barriers, smash long-held records or prove the doubters wrong. From Cathy Freeman’s unforgettable 400 metre run, to Sally Pearson’s gold-medal winning performance in London, they’re the kind of uplifting, inspiring role models the world needs.

And with the long-awaited Tokyo Games now less than 19 days away, Women’s Health spoke to some of Australia’s most high-profile sporting heroes about dreaming big, breaking records and backing yourself for our August issue, which hits stands everywhere tomorrow.

This special Tokyo edition features a double gatefold cover with two of our brightest stars, Paralympic legend and six-time gold medallist, Ellie Cole, and BMX world champion Saya Sakakibara, set to make her Olympic debut late July. More than 18 months in the making, the jam-packed issue celebrates the power of resilience, and the immense courage of all trailblazing women, both on and off the sporting field.

Ellie Cole on the cover of the Women’s Health August 2021 issue.

Steve Baccon

As Ellie, one of the stars of the 2020 Netflix documentary Rising Phoenix – about to compete in her fourth Games – shared with Women’s Health: “A lot of my memories when I was young are of being sidelined at school sport. When I got in the water, I felt the same as everybody else, that gave me a lot of confidence and that’s why I owe so much to Paralympic sport. Sport really can change the world.”

Having competed in the sport she loves since childhood, four-time BMX world champion Saya Sakakibara was on track to compete in Tokyo with her brother, Kai, before the Games were postponed due to the pandemic. Then, in February 2020, he was involved in a devastating crash.

Saaya Sakakibara on the cover of the Women’s Health August 2021 issue.

Steve Baccon

Now, she’ll be riding for both of them when the starter’s gun goes off. As she shared in an emotional Instagram post just days after officially qualifying for Tokyo: “Life isn’t always perfect. A journey to any success is never flawless. I am so grateful every day that Kai is still around to share this journey with, even though it’s not exactly how we’ve pictured it.”

The issue features interviews with game-changing Aussie athletes including Jessica Fox, Madison De Rozario, Linden Hall, Charlotte Caslick, Sally Fitzgibbons and Ezi Magbegor.

To read more pre-Tokyo interviews with Aussie women in sport, grab the August edition of Women’s Health, onsale Monday July 5.

Women’s Health Editor Jacqueline Mooney and Ellie Cole.

Recommended to you

More From