It’s been a year since we caught up with Olympic gold and silver medallist, world champion and former world record holder, Brooke Hanson OAM, but with the Beachside Radiology Coffs Coast Ocean Swims on this Sunday, 26 March, we thought it was fitting to catch up with Ms Hanson as she prepares for the 600m swim to see what’s she’s been up to in the last year.
“A lot has happened since the last time we spoke. I’ve loved being back on the stage after Covid, as a motivational speaker and master of ceremonies at events across the world,” said Ms Hanson.
“I’ve also been doing a lot of corporate workshops to help businesses avoid burnout with their employees, which has been really beneficial for those who have come back from the covid lockdown, having to work harder than they did before the pandemic.
“Although, the biggest highlight of the last 12 months has been going to the Olympic House in Switzerland for the launch of the transplant games, which is in Perth in April. I got to host the launch event and the launch of the World Transplant Games Batton.
“The best thing was getting to sign the Olympic Wall, which Olympians have been signing for years. It was a really special moment for me considering I’m an Olympic Gold and Silver medalist.
“What made it extra special was after I signed ‘Brooke Hanson, Olympic Gold and Silver medalist, Swimming, Australia, Athens 2004’, the IOC prescient turned to me and said, “I would like to make Jack, your late son, a part of the Olympic legacy as well.” So I got to put that my signature was in memory of Jack Hanson Clarke.”
“Which was really lovely because now he is forever a part of the Olympic family.”
Ms Hanson has also been working with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for the upcoming Olympics and keeping an eye on what Australia’s current swimmers are doing.
“I actually have the big Olympic Legacy Forum coming up in Brisbane which is a really exciting event, especially since the 2032 Olympics will be in Brisbane,” said Ms Hanson.
“We’ve also had a lot of really strong performances in the pool over the last three years and we have so many youngsters who are really coming through the ranks.
“So, I am really looking forward to seeing who steps up and who handles the pressure over the next year leading into Paris 2024.
“For me, I love seeing the young crew push the older swimmers, who want to hang around for another Olympics and be the best that they can be.
“I am excited to see the mix of what the team will be made up of and how much faster everyone can go because of how competitive it is at the moment.”
This Sunday, Ms Hanson will be swimming in the Beachside Radiology Coffs Coast Ocean Swims with her family, honouring her late grandfather, John Mills’s legacy.
“It’s going to be an exciting Coffs Swim this year for my family because we have three generations competing in different events,” said Ms Hanson.
“I am doing the 600m ocean swim with my husband Jared, son Cooper, nephew Taj and my dad Ian,” said Ms Hanson.
“Then my youngest son, Billy will be doing the 300m with his brother Cooper and cousin Taj. Unfortunately my daughter Matilda is a little too young for the swim this year but she’ll be in the water with us doing the Coffs Ocean Swim in no time.
“I am probably most excited to see my sons and nephew do the Junior Coffs Harbour Jetty Swim because it has been named in memory of my late grandfather and the kid’s great-grandfather John Mills.
“So, that will be very special to watch considering the boys will be joined by many other kids whom my grandfather coached over the years at North Coast Swim Academy.
“But overall, I am really excited to swim around the iconic Jetty while supporting the local community and as always I am a proud ambassador of the Coffs Swim and it will always be one of not only mine but also my family’s favourite ocean swims.”
This year Ms Hanson’s father Ian Hanson a renowned sports journalist and media manager for multiple Australian Olympic and Commonwealth games over the last 30 years will be joining in on the action in the water.
“I am excited to get in the water and enjoy such a great ocean swim, that means so much to my family,” said Mr Hanson.
“I am most excited about joining my grandsons Cooper and Taj and of course, Brooke and Jared in the 600m swim around the Jetty, as well as watching Billy do the 300m, John Mills Swim.
“It’s funny, John was actually my swim coach when I was Cooper and Taj’s age and he coached me in my surf lifesaving career as well.
“I could not have asked for a better coach, mentor and father-in-law. He was a man I admired greatly and his devotion to his own family of swimmers and the Coffs community was quite amazing,
“So, it is nice to see that he has been remembered in such a great way and at a spot he loved because the Coffs Jetty was like a second home to him.”
To find out more and enter, head to the Beachside Radiology Coffs Coast Ocean Swims listing.