Rechelle Margaret Hawkes (born 20 May 1967 in Albany, Western Australia) was the captain of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team, best known as the Hockeyroos, for eight years and is one of only two Australian females to win three Olympic gold medals at three separate Olympic Games: Sydney 2000, Atlanta 1996 and Seoul 1988.
Hawkes also competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, where Australia finished fifth. She made her debut in 1985, and reached a milestone in 1999, when the midfield player celebrated 250 games for the national team. She read the Athlete's Olympic Oath at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Described as ‘the cornerstone of Australia’s golden era in women’s hockey’, Hawkes was one of the world’s most highly decorated hockey players. She made her international debut in 1985 and retired in 2000, playing an Australian record 279 international matches and winning multiple gold medals in major competitions along the way. Apart from winning three Olympic Games gold medals (1988, 1996, 2000), she claimed two World Cups (1994, 1998) and five Champions Trophies (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999). She was a member of the team that won gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. She is the most successful female player in international field hockey history.
Hawkes had bad luck with injuries early in her career, but this did not stop her from taking her place in the team that won Olympic gold in 1988 in Seoul. In 1993, she was appointed team captain and led the team that compiled an unbeaten streak of 31 games leading into the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, and which eventually went on to beat South Korea 3-1 in the final.
After Atlanta, Hawkes took some time off the game to contemplate her future. She decided to go for Olympic gold one more time and was given the honour of reading the Athletes’ Oath at the opening ceremony in Sydney. Two weeks later, she played her last international game and claimed her third Olympic gold medal.
Hawkes was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Western Australian Hall of Champions in 2005.
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