2000: Rechelle HAWKES of Australia in action against China during a hockey test competition before the Games of the XXVII Olympiad. Credit : Getty Images/Adam Pretty
Other names: HAWKES, Rechelle Margaret
Born: 30 May 1967
Birthplace: Albany (Australia)
ATTENDANCE AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Gold: 2 (94, 98)
Silver: 1 (90)
Most decorated woman in hockey
Midfielder Rechelle Hawkes joined the Australian national hockey team in 1985. She competed in her first Olympics in 1988 and won the first of her three gold medals as Australia eliminated the favoured Dutch team 3-2 in the semifinals and then beat the home team, South Korea, 2-0 in the final. At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Hawkes experienced the low point of her career when the Australians were upset 1-0 in the preliminaries by the Spanish hosts.
As team captain and playmaker, Hawkes led Australia back to the top in Atlanta in 1996. They entered the final with a 38-game unbeaten streak and then faced the same Korean team that had held them to a 3-3 draw in pool play. This time Australia moved ahead early in the second half and went on to win 3-1.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Hawkes was given the honour of reciting the Athletes' Oath on behalf of all the athletes at the Opening Ceremony. Hawkes and the Hockeyroos got off to a sluggish start, defeating Great Britain 2-1 and being held to a 1-1 tie by Spain.
But from then on, the Australians dominated the tournament, winning their remaining six games by a combined score of 22-3. Hawkes retired after the Olympics, having represented her nation in 279 international matches. She is the only female hockey player to earn three medals (much less three gold medals) and the only one to win medals 12 years apart.