Olympics Legend: Jamie Dwyer | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Olympics Legend: Jamie Dwyer

THE BUILD-UP

In the opening match of the 2003 Champions Trophy in Amsterdam the Pakistan goalkeeper came out and got me.

 

The team doctor said: “You’ve done your ACL and you’ll be out for a year.” He said after the operation I shouldn’t expect to be as fast or as good a player for a few years.

 

It was like a knife through my heart.

 

I had the operation the next month, 11 months out from the Games, and played my first game back two months before the Athens team was picked.

 

When I finally got the phone call from [coach] Barry [Dancer] to say I was in the team, I was over the moon.

 

On the bus to our first pool game a few guys were throwing up with nerves . . . and this was just against New Zealand!

 

I ended up hitting a hat-trick in a 4-1 win and scored two more goals in our next match – a two-all draw against Argentina, before we beat India 4-3 in the last 10 seconds after leading 3-1.

 

I copped a bit from the papers after that match when it came out that I got in trouble with Barry for throwing my stick around and celebrating too much after scoring.

 

Afterwards there was a bit of niggle in the group and it took reserve ’keeper Mark Hickman to calm everyone down. Barry apologised to me for it getting out, but I was still angry enough to talk to the team psych.

 

CRUNCH TIME

Holland were going for their third Olympic gold in a row when we met them in the final. They had a real belief and arrogance about them, for good reason.

 

We played a very good first half, but they scored and I went in with my head down at half-time. I thought we couldn’t have played any better while they had room for improvement.

 

Barry gave us a good talk, though, and by the time I went back out I thought we were still in it.

 

Within a couple of minutes we’d equalised and it stayed that way until full-time. Now it was extra-time, golden goal, and right at the end of the first period we got a penalty corner.

 

We had a couple of variations depending on how they ran at us. I’d had two penalty corners in normal time and went for flicks, but the keeper was all over them.

 

When it came to me, I decided to hit it as hard as I could this time. It went between the keeper’s legs and into the goal. After that I just ran off. It was history! 

 

Don’t forget to download the Olympics on 7 app!

Get it for Android – rio.seven/googleplay 

Get it for iOS – rio.seven/appstore

 

 

Dwyer’s Dictums

RUN SOFT, HARD

The ’04 Kookaburras prided themselves on being fitter than their opponents.

Dwyer’s secret? Soft-sand running. “I’d do 20-40 minutes on the beach – sprints, hills, sideways, backwards . . . all with intensity.”

THE PAST IS DONE

A sporting truism, but particularly apt if success has been elusive.

“We knew all about the so-called ‘curse’ (three Olympic finals, all losses),” says Dwyer, “but we had quite a few young players who’d never been part of the Olympics and it didn’t add any pressure.”

Write your own history.

BE A SORE LOSER

“I hate losing at marbles and the guys in that team hated losing more than anybody we played,” says Dwyer.

“As motivations go, it’s not a bad one.”

Don’t forget to download the Olympics on 7 app!

Get it for Android – rio.seven/googleplay 

Get it for iOS – rio.seven/appstore

By Mens Health Staff

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