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Category: Sports Portrait

First Place
Lisa Maree Williams/Freelance
"Bianca Elmir - Fighting & Faith"

Second Place
Jonas Lindkvist/Dagens Nyheter

Third Place
Leah Hennel/Calgary Herald/Postmedia

Award of Excellence
Matt Gade/The Daily Republic
"High school swimmer"

Award of Excellence
Mark Zaleski/Associated Press


First Place

"Bianca Elmir - Fighting & Faith"

Australian boxing champion Bianca Elmir poses at Stockade Training Centre on August 15, 2017 in Canberra, Australia. The Australian Flyweight Champion and a Oceania boxing Bantamweight Champion is preparing for her debut professional fight under the guidance of Australian Olympic boxer and coach Jamie Pittman. She will take her first step into the professional ring during the upcoming Capital Fight Show 13 on December 8, in Canberra. Alongside working with at-risk youth on Australia's Central Coast Elmir is studying a Masters in Globalisation and has spent time working in the field in South Africa. Elmir is empowering women through self-defense and boxing training and challenging sterotypes along the way for Muslim women - qualities she wears proudly. Following a long and successful career in kickboxing Elmir transitioned into boxing in 2009. Born in Saudi Arabia, she was snatched at age 2 by her mother Diana Abdel-Rahman following a volatile separation from her husband in Laal, Lebanon. Flying directly to her mother's homeland, Australia. Elmir went on to grow up in the suburbs of Canberra in a predominately non-Muslim community. Returning to Lebanon at 13, she lived with her grandparents during a year-long cultural experience, one that she now describes as a life changing moment. Since she has spent much of her life exploring her connection to sport, family, culture and faith and now advocates for a wider acceptance of Islam. Her over-arching dream is to take her boxing to the world stage and continue her advocacy work.