In 2004 Jamie Dwyer broke one of the longest droughts in Australians sport when he nailed a dramatic goal in extra time to win Australia’s first ever gold medal in men’s hockey. Dwyer wears the number 1 on his back. It’s a figure that symbolises his status in the game of field hockey … He has been named as the world’s best player a staggering five time (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011).
Athens 2004 was Dwyer’s first and most successful of three Games campaigns. At the Beijing Olympics, Australia’s Kookaburras (ranked No 1 in the world) were unexpectedly beaten by Spain (ranked No4) in a semi-final, but went on to win the bronze medal by trouncing their 2004 final counterparts The Netherlands 6-2. The gold medal went to Germany.
The Kookaburras entered the London Olympics again as world No1 having completed a hat-trick of titles in 2010- winning the World Cup, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games- and having become the first team to win the Champions Trophy four years in a row.
In London’s Olympic semi-final the Australians held a 2-1 lead over defending Champions Germany midway through the second half, but the Germans stormed home to win 4-2. The Aussies bounced back to knock off the British 3-1 in the bronze medal match and Dwyer finished the tournament with 6 goals.
Born in 1979 in Rockhampton, Dwyer began his career with the Queensland Blades before moving to Canberra on a scholarship from the Australian Institute of Sport. He made his international debut in 2001, and wasted no time in tormenting opponents around the world. In 2002 the international federation FIH named him as Young Player of the Year after a season in which he scored 24 goals from 34 matches.
After the Athens Games, Dwyer complemented his service in the Australian team with club stints in India, Spain and the Netherlands (where he met his wife Leoni). After the London Olympic Games he became the face of Hockey India League.
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian