“Australia has supported my journey and welcomed me with open arms, so I made the decision to make my new home also the country I represent,” she says. “It’s a big honour for me to put on the jersey and represent the country I fell in love with.”
The move has also offered Vanessa the support of a professional team environment – something she missed while training independently in the US. Now fully rehabbed from a stress fracture in her back (which involved relearning how to run on her prosthetic legs), she’s excited to see how far she can go.
“I’ve made a plan to reach my full potential and really see what is possible,” she says. “I want to grow to be the best athlete I can and Australia is definitely providing that environment for me to do so.”
With a world record 5.05m leap this year, the chance of Vanessa adding a second gold medal to her collection in Tokyo is high. But she’s just stoked to be a part of the Aussie squad, with her husband.
“Travelling together with my team that’s kind of like my family – it’s going to be an amazing experience.” We agree!