SPORT

Australia's Best Female Athlete Gets The Gong She Deserves

She's a world champ, Olympic champ, and most importantly, a champion of women in sport.

14/11/2016 12:50 PM AEDT | Updated 14/11/2016 2:15 PM AEDT
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She's got a great sunny outlook on life.

Australia's best female athlete is not a swimmer, runner, golfer, surfer or tennis player. It's sevens rugby player Charlotte Caslick.

Who says? We do. Why do we say this? Well firstly, because Caslick has just been named the word women's sevens rugby player of the year.

Caslick, 21, was a key part of the Australian team which won the world sevens rugby series and the inaugural sevens rugby gold at the Rio Olympics. She'd been nominated twice previously for the top gong but had never won, until now.

So you're probably thinking 'OK fine, good for her. She's the world's best at sevens rugby, but why does that make her the best female Australian athlete?'

For three reasons:

1. Caslick makes the term 'role model' actually mean something.

The Huffington Post Australia interviewed Caslick both before Rio, then immediately after she won gold. Know what she said in the heat of her euphoria? This:

"Hopefully we've inspired girls around the world to take up their dreams and just know that they can do anything that a boy can do."

2. She can play. Oh wow, can she play.

Charlotte would hate us writing this, but during the Olympics and also before it, the Australian sevens rugby team revolved around her. When there were hard metres to be gained, the ball inevitably found its way into her hands. When there was a tough tackle to make, so often she was the one making it.

And when there were no obvious options, Charlotte Caslick just went the full Charlotte Caslick, as this clip of her gold medal-sealing try in Rio shows.

"From the age of 17 to now 21, Charlotte has matured into the world's best player," Australian coach Tim Walsh told rugby.com.au.

"A ruthless competitor with a relentless work ethic and possessing a mental toughness that only comes from being the best, Charlotte has consistently performed at a World Class level for over three years."

3. Best of all, she has humility.

Congrats, Charlotte.

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