Steve Hooker

London Countdown

Steve Hooker: Track & Field athlete
Age 29
Hometown Perth, Western Australia
Birthplace Perth, Western Australia
"Anything that happens from now on is a bonus."
steve hooker

Athlete Q&A

Your mother, Erica Hooker, was a 1972 Olympian and 1978 Commonwealth Games long jump silver medallist. Were you always expected to follow her footsteps?
I was always aware of what my mum had done as an Athlete. I looked up to her and was proud of her achievements. I even had her Commonwealth Silver medal in my desk drawer at school for a whole year once.
I never expected that I could follow in her footsteps. I was a good athlete without ever being great. When I started to pole vault I started to think that this is something I could do at elite level and it was the first time I thought I could be an Olympian like my mum.

You won gold and set a new Olympic record at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. With that win behind you, do you feel more or less pressure to perform 2012?
I actually feel less pressure going into 2012. I feel in Beijing I achieved my biggest career goal and anything that happens from now on is in the bonus category.

If pole vaulting had a catch phrase what would it be?
It would inevitably contain some sort of innuendo; we have some unfortunately named implements.

Who do you look up to and why?
I've always looked up to people who make a living doing something they love, whatever that may be.

What goes through your mind just before you compete?
I try and focus on a few key things that will have the biggest bearing on my result. It will normally be something technical and sometimes a strategic element that I think will help my result.

What are you passionate about apart from field athletics?
I love sharing a meal I've cooked with a group of good friends.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have been lucky to have a lot of great conversations with great people.  Everyone who is inspiring has a similar essence and I am always trying to search for what that is. I don't think one phrase has the key to it though.

Where in London are you most curious to visit?
I've spent a bit of time in London and the great thing it has over most European cities is great coffee. I love the coffee at Monmouth in The Borough. I'll be heading there pretty shortly after getting off the plane. Nothing better than a good coffee after a long flight to help with the jet lag.

You’re constantly travelling for competitions. Where has been your favourite place to compete and why?
My favourite place to compete is Berlin. It's an amazing city and the Olympic Stadium is beautiful, full of history and has a great athletics crowd. The World Championships was held there in 2009 and it was the best one I have ever been to.

About Steve

Steve Hooker is the first ever Australian male to hold Olympic and World Record titles concurrently. One of the stars of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Steve became the first Australian Field athlete to win Olympic gold in 60 years, the first Australian male track or field gold medallist since 1968 and the first Australian Athletics Olympic champion since Cathy Freeman. As a victor at all five major world athletics titles; Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Indoor Championships and IAAF Continental Cup, Steve can rightfully be considered Australia’s greatest ever field athlete.

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Career Highlights

  • Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics with a new Olympic record at 5.96m
  • 2010 1st World Indoor Championships (6.01m Championship record)
  • 2010 1st Commonwealth Games, Delhi
  • 2009 1st IAAF World Championships (5.90m)
  • 2008 1st Beijing Olympic Games (5.96m Olympic record)
  • 2008 and 09 winner of the ‘Don Award’ as the Athlete who Most Inspired the Nation
  • Nominated for IAAF Male Athlete of the Year 2009, 2010 2010 GQ Magazine Sportsman of the Year

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