Every four years the Kookaburras head off to the Olympic Games expected to return with a gold medal.
The expectation is possibly warranted as they have been ranked in the top four men’s hockey teams in the world for the last 30 years, but winning an Olympic gold medal is not that easy.
After talking to some of the players from various countries who have played at the Olympic Games in field hockey, they all explained how the Olympic Games is so different from any other international tournament that they play in. Every single player said how hard it was to win a medal at the Olympic Games let alone gold.
After several such conversations I decided to look back on the Olympic History of Australia’s men’s hockey team. The story starts before their first appearance at the 1956 Games in Melbourne when the powers that be were considering participating.
Each Olympic Games is covered from 1956-2012 talking to players who participated who can tell first hand what the expectations were like at each Games, and what may have gone wrong to prevent Australia claiming gold. Needless to say the 2004 campaign when the team managed to get the monkey off their back by winning gold is covered fairly extensively.
There are stories behind the Games that have been unearthed or gone untold over the years. Hopefully it is a brief history of the team’s evolution and the highs and lows. There is no doubt it has been an emotional journey for all concerned.
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