Get your weekly news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from athletes around the world in their non-aquatic habitats, helping us get to know them for more than just an event ranking or time on a board. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 – Grant Hackett Gets New Job
37-year-old Olympic champion Grant Hackett of Australia has had a rocky journey as of late, having been arrested earlier this year after a family fight. The distance freestyle ace has since sought professional help and appears to be on the right path, having landed a new professional job in the business world.
As of last month, Hackett is now the General Manager of Distribution in the Melbourne office of Austock, an Aussie financial services outfit that provides development loans for financial sector businesses. The role falls in line with Hackett’s Masters of Business Administration degree earned from Bond University back in 2012.
Per Austock Executive Chairman Rob Coombe in Adelaide Now, “Grant forms part of the executive committee, which is responsible for the Austock rebranding and product relaunch in December 2017. We are excited to have Grant on board and he is already making a significant contribution to the team.”
#2 – Brooke Hanson’s Commonwealth Games Baton Leg Holds Special Significance
Retired Aussie swimmer Brooke Hanson, who earned gold and silver at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, is set to run a portion of the baton relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games headed for Gold Coast, Australia. Per Adelaide Now, Hanson is dedicating her relay leg to her son Jack, who was born prematurely in 2012 and died after a 9-month battle in the ICU.
“That’s who I will be running for – I will be running for Jack who never got a chance to put his beautiful toes on the beaches of the Gold Coast,” says Hanson. The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation Ambassador plans on having her sons Cooper and Billy, and daughter Mathilda run alongside her to raise awareness for the organization that supports families dealing with sick and premature babies.
“Losing Jack and having held him for his last breath you realise life is so short and you need to live with passion and purpose in your life every day and give something back,” Hanson said.
“It’s about inspiring the next generation to not give up on their dreams. It’s about believing in yourself. I believe the Commonwealth spirit and the Games will be inspiring for our younger generation.”
#3 – Irish Swimmers Take On Big Storm
Even with Storm Ophelia raging up the southwest coast of Ireland on Monday of this week, amateur swimmers disregarded warnings in the name of getting in their daily swim. One such swimmer was 72-year-old Timmy Flaherty, who told Independent.ie that he accepted the critics and audible warnings, but added,”I’d go along with them alright, but it’s up to each individual. Whatever turns you on. I’ll never panic no matter what. It’s super.”
Swim Ireland offices were closed on Monday due to the storm.
In the tweet below, swimmer Cameron Brodie jokes that Swim Ireland coach Ben Higson still conducted practice.
— Cameron Brodie (@_Cameron_Brodie) October 16, 2017
#4 – Sun Yang Defends Himself
The most decorated Chinese swimmer in Olympic history, Sun Yang, used himself as the source of his Master’s theses at Suzhou University. The freestyle specialist is studying physical education and training at the University and wrote his thesis on the men’s 200m freestyle race at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The thesis was entitled, “An analysis on the skills of the Men’s 200m freestyle champion at the 31st Olympics.” Per Professor and Thesis Advisor Wang Jiahong, Sun “was a diligent student and often had discussions with the professors.” (Global Times)