Year Awarded: 2012
Sport: Rowing
Team Sport Australia Award

Men's Double Sculls (Rowing) - 1992

Peter Antonie and Stephen Hawkins seemed to have much against them on the final day of competition on Lake Banyoles in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.  They had been rowing together for only a few months and were by far the lightest crew in the final, averaging 15kg less than their rivals.

They lived up to their nickname - "the Pocket Rockets", racing away to an early lead from which they were never headed. They held out Austria by .08 of a second and winning Australia its first rowing gold medal in 44 years.

Hawkins and Antonie seemed an unlikely pairing before victory in the national championships on Lake Barrington propelled them into the Olympic team.  Melbourne-based Antonie was a stocky (182cm and 76.5kg) veteran who at 34 had been representing Australia in international events   since 1977.  Tasmanian Hawkins was 21, a relative  novice at this level,  and not only shorter, at 177 cm but lighter at 75kg.

Whatever they lacked in stature compared to the favoured European teams, they lacked nothing in speed. They won their heat and semi-final before their all-the-way victory in the final.

Olympic Games - Barcelona

Team Members:

Peter Antonie OAM

Stephen Hawkins OAM

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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.