Grant Hackett OAM
Three-time Olympic swimming champion
Grant Hackett, former Olympic swimming champion, is one of the iconic superstars of Australian swimming.
Grant Hackett consistently raised the bar in distance swimming since inheriting the role of Olympic and world champion from his predecessor, Kieren Perkins. Grant won more major medals than any other Australian – his 32 Olympic and world medals place him second only to American swim star Michael Phelps. Over three Olympic Games, he won an incredible seven medals – three gold, three silver and one bronze.
Grant Hackett was first named the ‘New King’ of distance swimming when he completed the 1,500m freestyle at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. He won his second Olympic title in 2004 despite swimming the final with a partially collapsed lung. He recovered to win his fourth straight world title in 2005.
Shoulder surgery in November 2005 forced him to pull out of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. In 2006, Grant began having back problems and was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. He arrived at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne in the worst shape of his career. He finished third in the 400m, seventh in the 800m and seventh in the 1,500m, ending his unbeaten run.
Despite the setbacks, Grant Hackett worked to overcome doubts about his chances of winning at the Beijing Olympics, returning with Silver in the 1500m Freestyle and Bronze in the 4x200m Freestyle. A natural leader, Grant was voted the first and only Australian Swimming Team Captain for the 2008 Games.
Grant was the first man in history to win 4 x back-to-back World Championship 1500m freestyle titles. He dominated the 1500m freestyle at every major world competition from 1999 to 2006, winning four world titles (’98, ’01, ’03, ’05) and two Olympic titles (’00, ’04).
Grant was named Swimming Australia’s Male Distance Swimmer of the Year on many occasions, Australian Swimmer of the Year and took out the Telstra People’s Choice Award in 2004. He was awarded the Centenary Medal and the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to swimming in 2001. In 2005 Grant was named the inaugural captain of the Australian Swimming team, a role he held until his retirement in 2008.
In 2006, Grant joined other high profile Australians to launch Headspace, a major initiative designed to deliver better mental health services for young people aged 12-25.
Grant’s success has extended well beyond the pool. Extremely articulate and with a great work ethic, Grant has held the position of Head of Priority Markets for Westpac and TV presenter for Channel Nine. He has a Diploma of Financial Services and is undertook an Executive MBA. He is currently CEO of Generation Life
Grant is an ambassador for Westpac, Uncle Toby’s, Mitre and Kumho Tyres and is also involved with community groups, Preston James Research Fund and Surf Life Saving Foundation.