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2021 TV Production

2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame – Heroes and Legends

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame has transitioned the historical Induction and Awards Program to prime time, free-to-air-television and this year, brought to life Heroes and Legends – a Celebration of the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame which showcased the stars and stories of the nation’s most loved sporting heroes.

This year, as well as elevating two Members to Legend status in the Hall of Fame, SAHOF welcomed eight new Inductees as they join 578 others in Australia’s greatest sporting team. Find out who wins the 2021 The Don Award and the inaugural The Dawn Award, as well as the winner of the News Corp Magical Moments competition; the 2021 SAHOF Hall of Fame Moment.

But it is more than just a sports ceremony

With thanks to Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, supported by Sportscover and Victoria University and produced by JAMTV Australia, fans can again enjoy all the excitement and emotion of Australian sport’s most prestigious event when the Seven Network broadcasts Australia’s Sporting Heroes and Legends – a Celebration of the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

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Legend of Australian Sport

Dennis Lillee AM MBE

Equipped with athletic prowess, a fierce temperament and an untamed primal force, Lillee burst onto the cricket scene at the age of 20 and quickly established himself as a magnificent opening bowler who terrorised batsmen around the world during an illustrious 13-year career.

Although brilliant, Lillee’s career wasn’t without its setbacks – he suffered a debilitating back injury in 1973 and a knee injury forced a premature end to his career in 1984. He left international cricket as the leading Test wicket-taker (355) and topped the bowler/fielding combination record for dismissals with wicketkeeper Rod Marsh (95). He’s regarded by many as Australia’s greatest ever fast bowler and now, a Legend of Australian Sport.

Legend of Australian Sport

Ian Thorpe AM

Thorpe launched himself onto the world stage in 1998 when he became one of the youngest male swimmers to win a gold medal at a World Championship before heading into the Sydney 2000 Olympics with great expectations and delivering three gold and two silver medals in front of his home crowd.

Dubbed “Thorpedo”, he became a national drawcard, with his grace and humility endearing him to spectators who watched him live as well as millions of fans on television as he helped to turn swimming into a prime-time sport. In nine years of competitive swimming at every distance from 100m to 800m, Thorpe won five Olympic gold medals, nine Commonwealth golds, 13 World Championships, and set 23 world records, making him one of Australia’s most successful athletes of all time.

The SAHOF Class of 2021

Jamie Dwyer OAM

Dwyer dominated on the world stage with the Australian team over a 16-year career, winning gold at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in two World Cups, three Commonwealth Games and six Champions Trophies.

Steve Moneghetti AM

A four-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Moneghetti is known for his selfless contribution to, not only athletics, but many sports disciplines, which has left an indelible mark on Australian sport.

Tom Hoad AM

Hoad has made a great contribution to water polo through administration and coaching. His commitment was so deeply ingrained that he was fittingly bestowed with the nickname “Mr Water Polo”.

Jana Pittman

Pittman won two 400m hurdles world championships during her career, her first in 2003 at age 20, making her the youngest world champion in history, and her second in 2007, eight months after giving birth to her first child.

Libby Kosmala OAM

Kosmala attended 12 consecutive Summer Paralympic Games from Heidelberg in 1972 through to the Rio in 2016. This phenomenal achievement earned her a total of 13 medals, including nine gold.

Karen Rolton

A prolific run-scorer and consistent wicket-taker, Rolton scored 1002 runs at an average of 55.66 in 14 Tests, 4814 runs at 48.14 in 141 ODIs and 405 runs at 50.62 in 15 T20s, as well as claiming 102 wickets across all three formats.

Anna Meares OAM

Meares is widely regarded as one of the greatest track cyclists Australia has ever produced, having won 11 world championships and six Olympic medals, including two gold, over a 14-year cycling career.

Mark Viduka

Viduka represented Australia 43 times, scoring 11 goals, and enjoyed a highly successful European career, playing 361 matches and scoring 162 goals for Dinamo Zagreb, Celtic, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

2021 SAHOF Awards

The Don Award

Global basketball superstar Patty Mills is the 2021 winner of The Don Award.

“I never set out to win awards like this,” a humble Mills said from the US base where he is playing for the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. I go about my craft as a professional and learn ways to get better, trying to carry myself in a way that I think can inspire others. Being recognised in this way to me isn’t about who I sit alongside, it’s about how I can inspire others with my journey.” Mills said of winning the Award.

The Dawn Award

Tennis great and SAHOF Legend Evonne Goolagong-Cawley was named the inaugural winner of The Dawn Award. The selection committee were unanimous that the winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles – the Australian Open four times, two Wimbledons and a French Open – was the worthy first recipient of this prestigious award.

“To win The Dawn Award is an incredible honour,” Evonne said. “I have been unwell and this has been the ultimate cheer-up for me. To be the first recipient makes it even more special.” said Evonne “Dawn is one of Australia’s greatest athletes and has been a source of inspiration throughout my life. She is also a good friend, and I am so pleased the Sport Australia Hall of Fame has chosen her to have such a prestigious award in her name alongside Sir Don Bradman.”

Hall of Fame Moment

Melbourne Cup jockey Michelle Payne OAM‘s ride to win the 2015 Cup on Prince of Penzance was voted by the public as the most significant Sport Australia Hall of Fame moment from a shortlist of 20 outstanding moments.

“To win the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame Moment was a huge surprise,” Michelle said. “I was in shock when I was informed, as the moments were all so significant in Australia’s sporting history.” Michelle said “Apart from achieving a life-long dream, the most special moment was sharing this with my brother Stevie. I was thrilled that the moment highlighted his celebrations – he was so excited. We have a unique bond, maybe that is why we won.”

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