How Groundbreaking Tech Made Ellie Cole’s Dream Come True

How Groundbreaking Tech Made Ellie Cole’s Dream Come True

by | Apr 1, 2020

Paralympian Ellie Cole is a superstar of Australian swimming, with 15 Paralympic medals under her belt and her eyes fixed firmly on the prize to win gold at the Tokyo 2021 games. With the recent postponement of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics Ellie knows this is a time that calls for drive, for ongoing commitment to her training and having her goals firmly in place in order to bring home gold in 2021. By all accounts, she’s locked in and focused on the road ahead.

“I’m really just wanting to go there and leave Tokyo the fastest athlete that I can,” she says.

This determination was instilled early in Ellie’s life. As a kid, she missed out on a lot of things. After being diagnosed with a rare cancer at just three years old, Ellie’s right leg was amputated. As she recovered from her heartbreaking diagnosis and the trauma of surgery, her parents were given a list of things Ellie would never be able to do with a prosthetic leg, like ride a bike or walk through the waves at the beach.

A keen water baby, this could have put a stop to Ellie’s love of the water. But she could swim, and swim she did, never using her disability as an excuse. Her resilience and determination saw her rise through the competitive ranks to bring home Paralympic gold medals.

DRIVING MOBILITY

Recognising Ellie’s drive to succeed, Toyota stepped up and facilitated the purchase of an Ottobock Genium X3 for Ellie, a waterproof robotic prosthesis that gave her mobility and freedom she never had before. Not only could Ellie move and train better; for the first time, she relished the joy of walking in the sea.

As Toyota supported Ellie, it also supports all women as principal sponsor of Women’s Health Women in Sport, helping to drive athletes of every gender and stage in their quest for mobility and to live life to the fullest. Toyota is the Worldwide Official Mobility Partner of the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.

Through programs such as Para Tech, Toyota is working with other Olympians such as Australian Paralympic Rugby captain Ryley Batt to engineer a high-tech, specially designed seat on his wheelchair which will help to improve his mobility and stability in the future for training and games. The engineers at Toyota GAZOO Racing have also worked directly with Paralympic cyclist and gold medalist Andrea Eskau to elevate her handcycle to the next level.  

It’s this commitment to ‘mobility for all’ that has seen Toyota change the lives of many disabled people. Not only athletes, but ordinary people with disabilities who simply want to live a more independent life. Toyota’s innovation in engineering has allowed for vehicle modification to advance in leaps and bounds to give people the freedom to live their lives unencumbered by the restraints their equipment had previously put upon them.

WORKING TOGETHER TO INSPIRE 

With her go-get-‘em attitude to life, Ellie’s positivity is infectious and has made her a hot ticket on the public speaking circuit. She gives her time generously in order to speak with other athletes and kids with disabilities, inspiring them to explore life’s possibilities. “Life’s a precious gift,” she says. “I don’t want to waste that.” But perhaps most tellingly is the way in which Ellie sees her disability not as a setback but as a gift. “If you offered me the chance to go back 20 years and have two legs” she says, “I would say no.”

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8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

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New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?