Gavin Woods made his Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games, alongside his sister Taryn who won gold in the women’s water polo event. The men’s team finished eighth in Sydney and Woods went on to compete in Athens 2004 placing ninth. Like his father David, who competed in 1972 and 1976, Woods was a dual Olympian. He considered retiring after 2004 but the lure of becoming a triple Olympian was enough to get him to Beijing where they finished eighth.
After the 2008 Games, he committed again to the sport he loved and in 2012 joined a select group of Australian water polo players that have competed at four Olympic Games. At the London Games and after losing three of their first four matches, the Australians knocked off Greece 13-8 to book a spot in the quarter-finals against Serbia. The Aussies took a 7-4 halftime lead before going down 8-11 to the eventual bronze medallists. Whalan finished with eight goals in the competition.