Eddie Ockenden made his third Olympic appearance in Rio with his selection in the men’s hockey team, after collecting back-to-back bronze medals at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games.
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.
After a stellar 2015, the Tasmanian was named ‘Kookaburras’ player of the year’, and his on field natural leadership helped the men’s side collect the World League semi-final and final titles, as well as the Oceania Championship.
The midfielder who doubles as a striker made his International debut in 2006, making him one of the most experienced players in the team. Despite not being selected on the 2007 Champions Trophy side, Ockenden fought his way back into the team and was the youngest male hockey player at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
After three professional seasons in the Netherlands playing for Laren, Ockenden captained the side to a 2011 Champions Trophy victory. The 29-year-old was then selected on his second Olympic Team but the Aussie men left disappointed with another bronze medal in two Games.
In 2013, the midfielder became the first Tasmanian to score 50 goals for Australia and was then named ‘Tasmanian Athlete of the Year’ in 2014. Off the pitch, Ockenden likes to embrace the outdoors as much as possible, travelling home to Tasmania to hike, fish and work on his father’s agricultural business in farming. He followed in his mother, Angela’s footsteps playing for the North-West Graduates Hockey Club in Hobart.