Daniel Beale joined five other Olympic debutants in the 2016 men’s hockey Team after a stellar performance at the 2016 Champion’s Trophy earned him Olympic selection.
The Aussie Olympic campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand but despite starting strong, the side then suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Spain and Belgium. Determined to claim their third straight Olympic medal, the Aussies then secured a 2-1 win over Great Britain and a 9-0 victory over Brazil, setting themselves up for a quarter-final clash against the number 2 ranked side, the Netherlands. The Aussies quickly saw their hopes of a gold medal fade as the Dutch secured a 4-0 win, knocking the favourites out of the Olympic competition.
Beale’s hockey career began in 1996 at the Bulimba Hockey club in Brisbane, where he entire family played. A move to the Commercial Hockey Club in Queensland then facilitated his eventual selection in the Kookaburras squad in Perth.
The 23-year-old captained the Australian U21 men’s team at the 2013 Junior World Cup and in the same season made the move up to the senior team. Despite a serious back injury and a month of recovery, the youngster was presented with his senior green and gold jersey for the 2014 World League Finals, before being made a full member of the national squad shortly after.
Beale will have the opportunity to play alongside teammates, Jamie Dwyer and Mark Knowles at the Rio Olympics who were part his inspiration to play hockey at the Olympic Games. He cites the 2004 Olympic gold medal winning Australian team in Athens as reason he wanted to become a player and recalls watching and cheering them on the television as a child.
Off the pitch, Beale is a construction management student who expects to graduate in 2016, despite the heavy Olympic training schedule. Beale is also a golf fan and lover of Perth’s beaches and works behind the scenes for his hockey sponsor, packing orders and receiving stock.