Madison de Rozario doesn't want to be referred to as a women's athlete or a wheelchair athlete
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Madison de Rozario has called for a change in the language used when defining female or wheelchair athletes.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist was awarded athlete of the year at Australia’s Women in Sports awards on Sunday night (October 16).
She beat out the likes of tennis star Ash Barty, gold medallists Jess Fox and Emma McKeon, as well as Matildas captain Sam Kerr and CrossFit legend Tia-Clair Toomey.
In the wake of the prestigious awards night, she has called for further progression in sports language, urging people not to define athletes by their gender or whether they are non-able-bodied.
She told Nine’s Today: “When we think about sport or talk about men's sport for example we don't distinguish it as such, we just talk about sport.
"And I think we'll know that we've kind of like, made it over that hill, I think, in women's sport and in para-sport when we start using similar language as that.
"It's definitely happening, we're moving towards it, and it's a really exciting time to be a part of it."
The Australian took home two gold medals at the 2022 Common Wealth Games in Birmingham winning the T53/54 marathon as well as the T53/54 1500m.
She says the current language used just comes from a lack of education and a need to make a conscious effort until it becomes regular language.
She continued: “It obviously does not come from a place of ill intent whatsoever.
"It's just how we've almost been conditioned to think about sport and speak about sport - and not just sport, this is across every single industry, every industry with women in particular."
As for her recognition at the Women in Sport awards, it’s an achievement she won’t soon forget.
She said: "To kind of be the one that had my name called at the end was absolutely unreal.
"I think you go into this thing with such a line-up like that, you don't try to think too hard about what's going to happen at the end of the night."
Adding: “It's definitely changing and that's one of the most incredible things of being in that room last night, you are in the presence of the women who are making that happen who are so impactful to that change and to get everyone together like that is unreal."
She currently holds the world record in the 800m which she set in 2019.
The 28-year-old is one of Australia’s longest-tenured athletes, having competed at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics at the age of 14.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy. REUTERS / Alamy.