Commonwealth Games 2022: Jemima Montag wins 10km walk, grandmother's bracelet

Commonwealth Games 2022: Jemima Montag wins 10km walk, grandmother’s bracelet

Aussie hero Jemima Montag wasn’t alone out there as she powered to an incredible back-to-back Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 10km walk.

The 24-year-old inspired the country all over again as she covered the distance in an incredible time of 42 minutes.

She says she had her own special kind of inspiration hanging on her wrist the entire walk.

An emotional Montag opened up about the special connection she has to her late grandmother through a piece of jewelery that once belonged to the Holocaust survivor after crossing the finish line.

Australian Associated Press reports the bracelet was cut into three pieces two years before Judith’s death with one piece each given to Jemimia and her two sisters.

Montag’s grandmother survived the trauma and terror of Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War 2.

Judith missed Montag’s special moment on Sunday morning and her competition at last year’s Tokyo Olympics, however, she was there to see Montag win gold on the Gold Coast four years ago.

She said she draws inspiration from reading about her brave grandmother and even tracked down and translated old letters she had from when she was just 12 years old in the Nazi work camp.

“In some of her love letters and journal entries she wrote about just trying to make it through the next hour, the next day, just hoping to meet her dad at the gate with a piece of bread,” Montag said.

“What I take from that is in a race, it’s one kilometer at a time, it’s one step at a time, not thinking about the finish line.

“You just had to have such a careful balance of taking risks and being a little cheeky when it was possible.

“Stealing scraps of food, running from one line to the other if it meant not being put to the gas chamber, and then sticking by the rules, when it was the right thing to do so.”

She said she regularly thinks about some of her grandma’s shattering experiences when looking for that little bit more courage and fight when she is out on the track.

“They marched through snow and cold for days on end in little sandals, and hardly any clothing,” she said.

“She and her sister took their waist bands and tied their wrists together and they said ‘we’re getting through this together or not at all.’

“So just visualizing her walking on ice, not knowing when her next meal would be or if she’d survive.

“This (race walking) is fun and this is something I choose to do and yes, it’s hard, but someone just two generations ago had that level of strength and I know it’s with me now.”

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