‘I STRUGGLED LIVING IN MY MUM'S SHADOW'
Woman's Day Australia|September 20, 2021
The daughter of Olympic hero Nova Peris has had to confront a lot of past trauma and heartache
Wade Sellers

Despite stepping into the spotlight this week on Seven’s SAS Australia, Jessica Peris, daughter of Olympic legend Nova Peris, has struggled to find her own path in life.

“It was very challenging growing up as my mother’s daughter,” athlete Jess, 31, tells Woman’s Day. “With everything that she had achieved in her life, which was so exceptional, it kind of made it quite hard for me to achieve something because you’re always compared to her accomplishments.”

Nova, 50, was the first Indigenous Australian to win a gold medal when she competed as part of the Australian women’s hockey team at the 1996 Olympic Games. In 1997, she switched from sports to sprinting and went on to compete at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

But with these accolades comes sacrifice, and watching her mother navigate through the lows of her career made Jess think twice about following in her footsteps.

“A lot of people only saw the end result, her accomplishments, but I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly,” she says.

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