Grant Hackett

Quick Facts

  • Name: Grant George Hackett
  • Born: 9 May 1980 Southport
  • Nicknames:  Hackey and Captain Fantastic
  • Olympic gold medallist
  • Won the most medals (17) in the history of the World Swimming Championships
  • Australian Swimmer of the Year, and Swimming World magazine’s Swimmer of the Year 2005
  • Likes surfing, motor racing, playing guitar and drums
  • Three sportsmen he most admires:  Mick Doohan, Michael Jordan and Pat Rafter


Grant Hackett, born on Queensland’s Gold Coast, is one of Australia’s greatest freestyle swimmers.  He won gold in the 1500 metres freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, and set world records in the 1500m and 800m freestyle. He has not been beaten in the 1500m freestyle since 1997.

Hackett is 196 cm tall, and weighs 90 kg. He wins his races with a combination of strength, stamina and determination, in the face of obstacles such as injuries and ill health. At the Sydney Olympics, despite having a virus, Hackett swam in the 200m and the 400m, and went on to win the 1500m against the crowd favourite and champion, Kieren Perkins. Incredibly, at the  Athens Olympics, he won gold in the 1500m, even though he had  a partially collapsed lung. 

Hackett has had most success at distance events, but also swims shorter distances. Many of his races have been against his friend and fellow swimming legend, Ian Thorpe.  At the 2001 World Championships, Hackett swam his personal best times in the 400m and 800 m freestyle, but Thorpe won both events. At 2003 World Championships, Hackett won the 1500m and 4 x 200m relay, but again could not beat Thorpe in the 400m.

In 2005, Swimming Australia decided for the first time to appoint a swimming team captain. Hackett was appointed captain and in that role lead Australia to great success at the World Championships in Montreal.  Hackett was not only an inspiring captain, but won gold medals in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle,  the first person to do this at a World Championship. Hackett could not swim at the  2006 Commonwealth Games, as he had to undergo shoulder surgery, but Swimming Australia decided to make him a non-swimming captain, because of his ability to inspire the team.    

Hackett was once asked what his three wishes would be, he replied “to have a healthy happy family, world peace and a packet of Tim Tams that never runs out!”