24 September 18Sophie Tudor

Olympic Medallist Brooke Hanson Inspires our Deakin Dragons on Day 1

“When there’s a will, there’s a wave.”

Those were the awe-inspiring words of Brooke Hanson, our 'Chef de Mission' at the 2018 UniSport Australia Div 1 Nationals, and it was those words that will resonate with our army of Deakin Dragons as they prepare to fly into the world of elite university sport.  

Brooke, a swimmer since the ripe age of 4, loved being in the water throughout her entire life and in her unrelenting drive and passion to pursue her goals, she brought home a silver medal from the 2004 Olympics in the 100-metre breaststroke and a gold medal as part of the Australian 4 x 100 metre medley relay.  

Several weeks later, Hanson competed at the World Championships in USA where she won an astonishing six gold medals, five of which were for individual events. A remarkable accomplishment for a Deakin Dragon.

Yes, you read that right, Brooke was a former Deakin University student athlete!

She studied a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Journalism, and like a true Deakin Dragon, Brooke breathed fire into the pool during her studies and refused to give up, despite a missing out on qualifying for the Olympic Swimming Team, not once, but twice!

Her third attempt, a victory, saw her travel halfway across the world to Athens where she finally felt that winning feeling on the podium.

“I wanted to win a medal for my country so bad! It was my lifetime goal and I was determined to do anything and everything to get there. I even gave up alcohol, chocolate, ice-cream and cheese for a year! Now that’s commitment. But it paid off, because perseverance is power and not only did I qualify for the Olympic 2004 team, I even made the Leadership team. I led by example and they could see that.”


Brooke said she’s thrilled to be back at the UniSport Nationals, where once upon a time, she was too slaying competition with the Deakin Dragon spirit.

“I am so excited to be back here amongst all the action and watch everyone compete with integrity, teamwork, innovation and positive team morale. My 3 tips to be a top performer is great attitude, skills and knowledge - that’s what you need to focus on at your competition.

“You need to live for the sport, connect with your teammates, and most importantly, treat this whole experience as the Olympics. It took 22 years of listening to my inner voice, and never giving up hope that one day, I could become a champion, and if you believe it too, then you’ll go far.”

So, there it is Dragons, the top 3 tips from the legendary Brooke Hanson, 1) Great Attitude; 2) Skills and 3) Knowledge. Now, go fight fire with fire and roar the stadium down!

Good luck, Dragons.

More social updates and live blogs coming soon from sunny QLD!