Laura Hodges (Summerton) is a triple Olympic medallist, launching her career with silver medals in 2004 and 2008. In both Olympic tournaments, Australia won seven straight matches to reach the gold medal final, only to lose to arch-rival the United States.
Heading to her third Games in London, Summerton and the Australian’s chances for gold took a hit after a costly 74-70 overtime loss to France saw them finish second in their pool. After defeating China in the quarter-final (75-60), the Opals faced the USA earlier than expected for a berth in the gold medal match. The world number one USA again beat the Australians (86-73) and went on to take gold over the French. Australia faced Russia for the bronze, winning 83-74 to continue their strong Olympic legacy.
She would return as one of the team's leaders in Rio to make it four Olympic appearances. The side began their campaign against hosts Brazil and after being down ten after the first quarter the side fought back to secure a 18 point win. A close victory over Turkey was followed up with a dominant 18 point win over France before coming back to defeat Japan 92-86. The Australian side rounded out the group stage with a victory over Belarus to move through to the quarter-finals undefeated and set up a clash with Serbia. The match was back and forth the whole way with the Serbians claiming a two point lead with just 10 seconds to go. The Aussies had the chance to level the match but couldn’t score as the side's run of five straight women’s Olympic basketball medals came to an end.
The South Australian’s scoring ability and versatility added to the Opals’ feared frontcourt strength. As well as her Olympic success, Hodges was on the team when the Opals won the 2006 World Championship - Australia’s first senior world title in the sport. She has also enjoyed a successful club career in Australia and abroad.