Australian Paralympian Madison de Rozario recognised with new hero Barbie

The Australian sports community is celebrating the representation of Madison de Rozario, who has her own Barbie doll.

Madison de Rozario competing in Dubai last year.

Madison de Rozario competing in Dubai last year. Source: Getty Images Europe

Madison de Rozario's career and achievements have been recognised with the Paralympian recently immortalised as a Barbie doll.

The toy has been launched as part of its female collection of role models known as the Shero series. 

The NSW Institute of Sport said the doll has been hailed as a wonderful celebration of Paralympic sport and female role models.

The 26-year-old gold medalist acquired transverse myelitis which has impaired her spinal cord. 

Supporters have praised the doll on social media including marathon winner Tatyana McFadden who said representation matters. 

"This is incredible, I am so happy, Barbie has created a current athletics athlete," she said. 

De Rozario became the first Australian to win the elite women’s wheelchair race at the London Marathon and collected a hat-trick of gold medals at the World Para-athletics Grand Prix in Switzerland.

When de Rozario made her Paralympic debut more than a decade ago,  she was the youngest competitor on the Australian team. 

To mark International Women's Day, toy company Mattel has released several European athlete dolls such as British world champion 200m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, French soccer team captain Amandine Henry, German long jump world champion Malaika Mihambo and Turkish Paralympic swimmer Sumeyye Boyaci.

It has been part of the Barbie Dream Gap project which has focused on developing girls' self-esteem and campaigning against bias. 

The long jumper Malaika Mihambo is receiving her own unique Barbie.

Last month, Mattel also unveiled a collaboration with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics highlighting inclusiveness.

"We're really excited to inspire kids around the world to be able and to play out their Olympic dreams, and, obviously, get that gold medal that we know they all want," Mattel's global brand communications senior director Marissa Beck said.

Australian Paralympian Madison de Rozario.

The dolls represent the five new sports included in the Olympic program - softball, sport climbing, skateboarding, karate and surfing. 

"They can also can inspire kids from any country to see themselves and the different women who are competing in these sports," she said. 

To mark 60 years of the Barbie brand, in 2019 Mattel recognised several successful women from various fields including Australian journalist and ABC chair Ita Buttrose.

Tennis player and former Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka plus Australian journalist Ita Buttrose had dolls created in their honour in 2019.
Source: Mattel, Inc.

Published 6 March 2020 at 12:14pm, updated 6 March 2020 at 12:17pm
By Stephanie Corsetti