Life Enhancing Lessons from Sports
July 15, 2022

S3 E2 “Pressure is a Privilege” – feat. Brooke + Kurt Hanson

S3 E2 “Pressure is a Privilege” – feat. Brooke + Kurt Hanson

Aussie Siblings + Surf Lifesaving Heritage = Ambassadors of Sport


This week on SPORTS+LIFE+BALANCE, John meets with a dynamic duo, siblings Brooke and Kurt Hanson. 

Tune in to the story of Brooke, an Olympic Gold and Silver Breaststroke Medalist, and Kurt, a Sports Broadcaster, a sibling pair who grew up on the beaches of Australia as part of the Hanson Family surf-lifesaving dynasty.

Brooke and Kurt would like to dedicate this episode to their late Grandfather, John Mills, who passed away at the age of 94 after this episode was recorded. Before his death, John was awarded Life Membership of The Surf Life Saving Australia - the highest honor in Australian surf sports. 


Thanks to our episode sponsor, Roka! Use code "SLB" for 20% off your purchase at Roka.
https://www.roka.com/

Transcript

Kurt Hanson:

Here we go with Episode Two season three of sports life balance.

Brooke Hanson:

For me growing up, I like I apologize to my siblings so many times I'm like, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry that I was just so I guess mean at times and so self absorbed into selfish and just so like I was so driven of I want to make it the Olympics that nothing else mattered, nothing else mattered. And I would yell at them if I needed more sleep, if they were too loud if they were on the drums, and you know, it was just it was all about me.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, being in the room next door to Brooke it was, it was brutal. And we got a first hand. You know, we got a front row ticket to seeing what it takes to make it. And my brother and I looking at each other, and we're shaking our heads. And we're like, my brother's nickname is Buffer. I said, Buffer we're not gonna make it. It's just too hard. We can't do this.

JOHN MOFFET:

This might sound like sibling rivalry, but it's actually a glimpse into the origin story of Olympic gold and silver medal winning breaststroker Brooke Hanson, and her sports broadcaster brother, Kurt. I'm John Moffet and thanks for joining us for this special episode of Sports + Life + Balance. Brooke and Kurt grew up on the beaches of Australia as part of The Hanson Family Surf Lifesaving dynasty. Brooke attempted to make the Olympics twice, but each time missed a spot on the Australian swimming team by mere hundredths of a second. Heartbroken, Brooke decided to train for four more years to fulfill her Olympic dream. And meanwhile, Kurt followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a sports journalist, and then commentator, Brooke and Kurt would like to dedicate this episode to their late grandfather, John Mills, who passed away at the age of 94 after this session was recorded. Before his death, John was awarded life membership in the surf lifesaving Australia, the highest honor in Australian surf sports. So let's dive in to a family affair exploring the intertwining cultures of sport, Surf Lifesaving and the Olympic Games down under.

Brooke Hanson:

It's not a race, we're just gonna have a great chat and eventually the electronics.

Other:

*Recording in Progress*

Brooke Hanson:

This meeting is being recorded.

JOHN MOFFET:

Oh, wow.

Brooke Hanson:

Okay I've decided to leave. No, I'm joking.

JOHN MOFFET:

Had enough, you have to go now.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah it gave me two options that I'm happy for it to be recorded or I'm leaving

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, thanks to technology. Brooke, you are joining us from I don't know how many miles away you are. But you're in Australia. And I'm here with your brother, your little brother i might add.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah.

JOHN MOFFET:

And we're here in LA. And just all thanks to technology, from one side of the world to the other. Welcome to Sports + Life + Balance.

Brooke Hanson:

Thank you so much for having me. So yeah, coming from the beautiful sunny Gold Coast today, and I'm just yet pumped. I'm a longtime listener, John. So really, really excited to be on board today.

JOHN MOFFET:

Thank you. Me too. And Kurt and I had a nice walk in the misty rain. So the weather is the opposite here in sunny Southern California.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, LA what's it done to us promised to be so much but um, no, it's great. It's great to be here. Obviously, you know, great friends with John now and three years in the US has gone so quick being here. It's I've loved every minute of it.

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, I'm glad we got to know each other and we got to know each other via our wives who work together. And my wife came to me one day and said, you know, there's this guy with a swimming background from Australia and one thing led to another but we'll talk about that in a little bit. I do feel I mean, I'm a little bit of an interloper, and that I'm neither an Auzzie, nor am I part of the family. But Brooke, you and I, we've got something in common. We're both breaststrokers. And Kurt isn't

Brooke Hanson:

The best stroke without doubt the best stroke

JOHN MOFFET:

I agree. I've I've seen him wrinkle his nose when it comes to what?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, but just for those that aren't, that has no background in swimming. I just want to explain to you very in 30 seconds what it all means. If swimming, if you're in a band, a freestyler is the lead singer. The lead guitarist is about a butterflyer. The bass player is a backstroker. And the breaststroker is the drummer. Drummers they go to their own beat there. We some of them don't even know how to read music. And it's breaststroke is a bit of the same they're amazing at what they do. But yeah, they they struggle with most other things. Some of them can do it. But yeah, and then when you get someone like obviously a Michael Phelps or someone like that, that's he's probably Prince. I would say that's who he is in musical terms. You get the unicorn.

JOHN MOFFET:

This is your brother

Brooke Hanson:

I love I absolutely love my brother. I am still the eldest John, Kurt's third born and we've got another brother Troy and a sister Jane, but I love how he's just said that the breaststroke is an utter drummer is I love bands. And yeah, I'll be a drummer any day. And he's a freestyler, so he can be a lead singer.

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, I'm definitely not going to get in to a breastroke fight with two siblings. So, you know, I think, I think viewers might be cluing in that there is already a familiar voice here in the mix. And if you are, you'd be right, Kurt, is the voice. That is the very first thing you hear on the podcast and the very last thing you hear on the podcast. So, Kurt, yeah, how about like a little proper welcome. I see you Sports + Life + Balance. Let's hear it.

Kurt Hanson:

You want me to go for it. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome here to season three of Sports + Life + Balance. How's that sound? My goodness, now you get a little understanding of Yeah, how I make money.

JOHN MOFFET:

And we'll get into that a little bit. But, you know, I've found through the years and, you know, we're slightly differ I wouldn't say we're different generations. Yeah, I think we're different generations of swimmers. But swimmers are like family. And back in my day, it didn't matter where you were from, we all had shared the respect. And, and so anyway, it's great to have a couple of Aussie swimmers here. I want to go quickly to the Tokyo Games, you obviously didn't watch the US edition of the Tokyo Games. But they had a lot of hometown cameras of the Americans, especially when they won gold. Lydia Jacoby being the one that comes to mind. And we got to see for the first time, their communities and their families and their friends completely erupt with joy. And I was really sad that I couldn't share the same thing with what ended up being the best that Australia has ever done in the Olympics since 1956. You know, the likes of, of Arlene Titmus. And and Emma McKeon. And I just all I just wanted to see what their families are doing. And I just want to reaffirm that Aussies. Just like Americans, we are celebrating and you are celebrating along with your swimmers.

Brooke Hanson:

Well, yeah, behind every great summer is this it's community, it's family and to see these families celebrate the success they couldn't be there in the stands, cheering them on, but to see the Australian families really get behind all of their swimmers, similar to the Americans swimmers. It was just so so great, because you you do you stand on the podium and you feel like it's part of their journey as well. And I know when when I swam, it wasn't just for me, it was for, for my for my mom who who missed the opportunity to do it for my family who supported me through the hard yards and for the rest of the community who we really got behind me and said during those times when I didn't think I could go on hey, Brooke you can go on.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah, we definitely rely on our communities and our families and our friends and our loved ones for for that support. And that's the thing that you don't necessarily see when you see an athlete step up to the blocks at something like the Olympic or Paralympic Games. You mentioned your mom, The Hanson Family has a long history in swimming. Going back to your grandparents, tell me a little bit about the history of The Hanson Family when it comes to swimming and surf competition.

Kurt Hanson:

So yeah, we've obviously we've grown up in the water all our lives. I don't know if Brooke remembers, but I don't really remember knowing how to swim I just kind of always knew it just kind of worked. But going back to our Yeah, our grandparents and mostly starting with our mom's dad our granddad and in Jack John mills. And he, yeah, he was from a small coastal town called Coffs Harbour, which is about six hours drive north of Sydney, and, you know, Irish immigrant parents. And he taught himself how to swim. He's one of 16 kids.

JOHN MOFFET:

Oh my gosh

Kurt Hanson:

Taught himself how to swim in Coffs Creek and then graduated there from into the surf where what he did in summer was, you know, in the surf club at Coffs Harbour there and then in the winter, play rugby and that's that's what you did back in those days. As one of 16 Incredible, like just an incredible journey for him and he is a very special human is his heart. He's very hard nosed, very old school and he's still alive. He turns 94 in in a couple of weeks, and still still living there in Coffs but an incredible Journey, an incredible career for him as not just an athlete as well, especially in surf, but as a coach. And I think they've done the math and summed up that he's coached something like over 3,500 people in a career that's that spanned what? 80, 80 something years. So he's really the, he's the, he's the rock, he's that he's the man that we all you know, we all kind of followed in his footsteps from a very young age, and I think, I don't know, speaking for Brooke, but for me, genetically, he was a he was a beast. He's a big, he's a solid, powerful, powerful guy. And mentally very tough guys. Well, I'd like to think that that rubbed off on on both of us as well.

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, Brooke, your brother said that he doesn't remember swimming, like learning how to swim but you have a bit of a distinct difference in that you drowned almost drowned not once but twice as a little girl.

Brooke Hanson:

Yes. So my first memories of the pool was just I just couldn't stand it I was scared of it. So after almost drowning twice mom and dad put me into the swimming lessons I was I was screaming I didn't want to be there the teacher said to my parents walk away they walk down the street and had a coffee and they can still hear me screaming because I love the water that much but when I got in there and had those two miss attempts, you know, two attempts of of trying to swim I didn't know how to swim and then they understood that learning to swim was a skill that I needed to we were of course raised on the beach and I needed to be safe in the water but yeah, my first memory was like oh god I don't want to get in there because I you know I want to I don't want to almost drown again and and then a couple of weeks into it. I loved it. I absolutely loved it and then one that first race that at the age of five and they said dive in and swim freestyle or dog paddle and and I swam breaststroke and still won. And they they said oh why just in breaststroke not freestyle. So it was just easier. And they say they say that like that being a breaststroke or sometimes that just stroke just comes easy to us. And I just found ever since I was I just loved breaststroke and it was the easiest stroke I used some butterfly with breast straight legs until I was about 12.

JOHN MOFFET:

Wow. Well, they say at least here in the states that breast strokers are not made, they're born.

Brooke Hanson:

I like that.

JOHN MOFFET:

Come on, I just said you weren't born a breatstroker

Kurt Hanson:

I just want to touch on as well. Like, obviously, for those listeners from overseas, Australia has this affinity with the water and with swimming. And for to be a professional swimmer in Australia is something special. And it's really hard. It's super hard to get to because it's so competitive. And it's so it's held in such high regard. And you think Australia is the same landmass as the US pretty much. But we've only got 25 million people that's 300 million people less than the US of that 25 million, you're looking at about well over 90% live within one hour of the coast. So when you think about Australia, everything's trying to kill you on land. It's the spiders, it's the snakes. It's the crocodiles, it's the sun. And then obviously in the ocean, it's it's the sharks, it's the blue ring octopus, it's the box jellyfish, but it's the water, the water will will kill you, if you don't know how to swim, whether it be a lake, or whether it be the ocean is extremely dangerous in Australia extremely dangerous. We lose people every every year, every year to drownings of all ages. And not just tourists as well, like Australia, Australians drowned in lakes and rivers and dams and, and especially the surf. So it's imperative from the get go that you need to learn how to swim. And I think I remember one of my earliest memories was mom and dad drilling into us that if you can swim 400 meters unassisted, you can go in the surf on your own, and you can go surfing, you can go in the ocean. And so I think from that, from the get go, that goal was I gotta get to 400 meters. You know, I need this freedom. And I think that's what, that's what sets it apart. But twice. You know, swimming is a it's different to every other sport, isn't it? It's what separates it apart for sure.

JOHN MOFFET:

And it's not nearly as big here in the United States as it is in Australia.

Kurt Hanson:

Well, I think yeah, just with the U, because in Australia, no one lives in the middle. Not many. So we've got all the room, obviously the middle which is you know, which is fantastic. But apart from that it's pretty much just desert everyone lives. It lives on the coast. And so yeah, swimming is such an such a an important part of our history and our lives.

JOHN MOFFET:

And and, and Brooke, your parents I read in your book "When Silver is Gold." They actually met in a pool. They actually met on the swim team, right?

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, they met whilst training in a pool that's actually an ocean pool. So my my mom's dad was the coach and then my dad's dad, also a surf lifesaver, and when we talk about them surfing, it's not on a short board that Surf Lifesaving is is part of our community over here because they had to learn to, I guess keep the beaches safe throughout all of summer, and surf lifesaving was a really really, I guess important role with my grandparents growing up and then they made sure that both their kids got into Surf Lifesaving as well. And then when when my grandfather Hanson heard there was a great swimming coach over at the other surf club, he he decided to send his son over and and train with that coach and and that coach's daughter was my mom then. And my mom and dad met in the pool and had their first kiss in the pool. And the rest is history. And yeah, I think I talked to Kurt about it all times, just to look at our family history. In regards to the love of water and surf lifesaving and swimming, you know, where we always going to be swimmers where we always going to be involved in Surf Lifesaving and dad, being a journalist was Kurt always going to go into journalism and commentating? Well, you know, I believe that it was all set for us. And it was all there for us just to Yeah, just, I guess, achieve what we could but also know that it was part of our family history.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And there was some intention there as well. You speak about or you write about in your book, the fish tank. And this is so foreign to me. It's basically your house, your home where you grew up. I let me tell you what my my situation is I grew up, you know, somewhere about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles, no athletes to speak of in my family, no swimmers. I and I'm an only child. So I kind of come from the opposite background, which I'm not steeped in any sort of family history or community history with regard to swimming, but but tell me about the fish tank. And really what it is because the concept is beautiful. I would have loved to grow up that way.

Brooke Hanson:

Well, my dad, of course, just loves swimming, loves surf, lifesaving and his nickname was was "The Fish." And then he met my mom and my mom was a fish. And, unfortunately missed the Olympic games, but just loved the water so much. And then they decided to have four little fish. And then my grandfather made the sign "The Fish Tank." So as the yeah, as the family home grew bigger, it became the fish tank and the fish tank was a place that was yeah, it was always open to friends to family to Olympians, that dad would interview, we would sit around the dining room table and someone would walk in with it with an Olympic medal and talk about the history of of the Olympics, but also their Olympic journey, the values the what it was like in the dining hall, what it was like to compete, and I would look young little Brooke would just sit there and just could not believe that every Olympian that walked in there was so told I'd have to duck like we lived in an old Fibro shack. And, you know, there wasn't much to add to this house. But it just had so much love. And everyone was welcome. And they'd have to duck their heads in. And I'll remember that as a young child is of these really tall swimmers having to this duck duck just to get into our front door.

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, you mentioned you mentioned your father and Ian who, who is a sports still a sports journalist, longtime sports journalist. In fact, the first Olympic Games that he covered was in Olympic games that I was in so I have perhaps a shared a deck with your your father back in 84. But But Kurt, Kurt told me that he would come home from each one of his games that he attended with stories, and he would, he would tell stories about lessons learned and things like that. From his travels to the Olympic Games, and covering swimming.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, I think what we were just so lucky that obviously through I think Dad figured out at a pretty young age that he wasn't going to make it as an elite sports person. And I think I only thought about it the other day, but is his nickname fish because he can swim in salt water, fine, but if you put him in chlorine, he's not so good. And I figured I'd be saying that. But yeah, he he realized that he had a passion for surf and for swimming. And he wanted to tell these stories. And and I think that that was his way of getting on pool deck that was his way of getting as close to the action as he could with without having to do without having to do the track like the training and and obviously having the skill required to do that. But I think and you know, same with Brooke as well when every time he went away not just to the Olympics but a world championships or Pan Paxel or wherever he went he would you know he would come back or we would see him on TV. He or he would send us postcards like he'd go to in Seoul in 88. When he he went there and Duncan beat Matt Yandi in the 200 and dads in the crowd and Laurie Lawrence's they're going he's coaches going crazy and then we'd see this dad does he come back and tell us the story of you know, after they all celebrated their went out and you know, they're signing I think it's very famous Australian song that we'd like to have a beer with Duncan because Duncan's mum, mate. Don't know. They go crazy. You know, this is this history of, of swimming in Australia. And obviously I was born in 81. But I 84 It's It's John O'Seevan going from fourth to first and that final touch in the 200 Fly. It's dunked on beyond his watch that we still talk about the dinner table. And we'll talk about that later as well. Karen, 92, Suzy and Karen's ridiculous win from Lane eight, in 96. Thorpe in that four by one the guitars in 2000, that the kids is cutting sick in Athens obviously with Jody and Thorpe all the garbage that he had to go through to get back to the top again, Hackey and what he had to accomplish. And then all the rock stars there. And that era was just incredible. And Brooke was you know, so lucky to be a part of that of that era, as well, especially the golden era of swimming for me was especially in Australia was that knot from 1998 to probably 2000 2004 2006 it was just an incredible time to be involved with the sport and the athletes that the staff that were working at swimming, all the all the planets aligned. And it was, I don't know about Brooke, but it was just such a privilege to be a part of.

Brooke Hanson:

So and yet totally like so like you can see like Kurt is so passionate about it. I am so passionate about it. And it's and it's it's just there, it's just part of our family like our chats at the dinner table. But in 84 I I was only six. And I remember mum just screaming at the TV at every Aussie and then dad returning with a pair of cossies I call them cossies or togs or Speedos, whatever you call them. My first pair of Olympic cossies, and I was six. And I remember standing with the 84 Olympic costume ongoing, I'm going to the Olympics, I'm going to represent my country, I'm going to win a medal. And I had no idea that you'd have to swim 24 hours a week and the chlorine up and down a boring line. But it was the stories and the athletes and yeah, seeing the medals and my autograph book. I've still got my autograph book is filled with so many of the Olympians. And that moment it was the for me, maybe not 84 that were you raised but 88 was the moment as a 10 year old that I still remember that moment. I was at school I said to my assistant, my primary school teacher that the Seoul Olympics are on Duncan Armstrong's racing, can we put it on and and I remember cheering him on, he's won the gold medal, of course, beat Matt Beyandi and dad returned from the Olympics with another pair of costumes. And I said, Dad, I want to do this, I want to go to the Olympics. And he found me a squad. And he's like, it's gonna take a lot of hard work. But Mom and I are right behind you. And so that was that moment. As soon as he returned, I started doing one session a week, three sessions a week, and then six months later is what an 11 year old I did my first morning session and it sort of just began from that.

JOHN MOFFET:

And and yeah, every every single athlete that you see attend of as a pro in, in, in soccer or football or, or as a swimmer or track and field. Every single athlete starts like that. They just, there's something about them that makes them go. I want to be an Olympian. And they and they go after it. That light bulb goes off in their brain at some point.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah. And that was my that was my moment. 1988 my moment, and I didn't see dad on TV and I saw how happy he was. And like Kurt said, Laurie Lawrence was going crazy. That was my moment. And then when you speak to the athletes of today of what their moment was, whether it was a Anthrope or a Michael Phelps or whatever it is they every single person like you said, John has this lightbulb moment and I love it.

Kurt Hanson:

But it's not it says what like has history repeated last year in Tokyo when you know, Dunk upsets Beyandi the and then you go and see Arnie beat Katie le Deki. Yeah, and then Dean is just the carbon copy of Laurie when with the box or does the aka

JOHN MOFFET:

your area. Okay, you're talking about the greatest celebration in a swimming history. Yeah, for the listeners. If you have not seen this clip of Arlene Titmus winning the 400 freestyle beating Katie

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, Yeah.

JOHN MOFFET:

Katie Ledecky in the 400 meter freestyle, and the epic celebration of her coach, it will make your day and that's the stuff I'm talking about. That's the heart and soul of this community that we have this international community of swimmers.

Kurt Hanson:

He is just true blue like heart on his sleeve, Aussie, like, he just loves it. He's the most passionate guy you'll ever meet. And if you can have five minutes with him, you'll come out and you it's like caffeine, it is you just can't get enough of him. Like he's just he's just amazing. And, and as that inspired another generation, because from for me and I call me bias or whatever, but watching. I'm a grown ass man. Like, watching Aireon like that last 50 I was losing it. Like I was I was emotional. Like I thought I was gonna cry. And and it's because I love swimming. But it's because I know how good Katie is. Yeah, she is the goat she is the greatest ever swimmer for mine in the history of the sport, female swimmer. So it's the equivalent of going into the mid 90s. And, and beating Jordan in Chicago to win the NBA championship is what she's done the impossible. And I think that was that was what that was definitely the out of all the highlights for especially the Australian women there. I mean, Tokyo. That was my

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, it was my highlight to definitely my highlight to see her. Yeah, to see her win. And Dean Boxum going, you know, Coach said pressure is a privilege. And it's so true.

JOHN MOFFET:

You know, you you Brooke said that you decided that you wanted to dedicate yourself to competing in the Olympics. But it was in when you were 15 years old in 1994, that you kind of got your first little taste of international competition. Tell them tell me about those games and what they were and what they meant to at that stage in your life.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, it was pretty, like a magical rise, I guess I was just, you know, consistently going to training and improving my times and, and doing more and more sessions. And it wasn't until I sort of gave up all the other sports I gave up netball and water polo and soccer and I gave up all the other sports focused on swimming started doing 11 sessions a week. And as a 15 year old I qualified for my first Commonwealth Games. And it was over in in Canada on the island off Vancouver in Victoria and, and I remember just being so yeah, so proud to make the team and mum was pretty sick at the time. And she Yeah, she was doing it pretty tough and was you know, just battling her own her own demons with with cancer dad was working extra hours but I was just so proud that I'd gone and achieved something like I'd achieved making an Aussie swim team. And that's when I felt that that love of community so the Surf Lifesaving community a freshwater surf club, they they did a big fundraiser and raise enough money to get my mom to come over and support me and cheer me on and it was just it was the best it was just unbelievable. So my my grandparents came home and took care of Kurt Troy and Jade and mum got to come over with me and and I remember looking up and she had the big green and gold Aussie wig on and she had a big a big can with 50 cent pieces in it from Australia with a wooden spoon and she's like, Go Brooke go gooey. And gooey is what we what we yell at when we're lost in the bush. But I remember some of the Canadian girls going Who's that? Who's that crazy woman. And that's my mom. She's so proud of me. And I finished fourth in the tournament is breaststroke. And, you know, it wasn't what I what I wanted, I would would have really loved to get a medal. But yeah, at that time, I just thought I you know, it was a breaststroker that was well and clearly on the rise. And you know, I had my my, my total goals set on making the Atlanta Olympics in 96. And, and that was my first taste of international competition. And I was just like, I love this and I really want more.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah, magic, right. So So Kurt, you were you were sleeping in the next room next to your sister. And what were you thinking about what she was trying to do and how much work that it took and what were you observing about Brooke during these years as a teenager where she really started coming into her?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, my brother and I had a really we'd insight into professional sport and extremely young age firstly through dad bringing back professional athletes and their stories and then watching Brooke through go through her transition. Yeah, being the room next door to Brooke was It was brutal. And we got a first hand you know we got a front row ticket to saying what it takes to make it, and my brother and I are looking at each other. And we're shaking our heads. And we're like, my brother's nickname is Buffer. But I said Buffer, we're not gonna make it. It's just too hard. We can't do this. We're like, he's 14, I'm 13. And we had dreams of I wanted to play rugby league for Manly and I wanted to play rugby for the Wallabies. And I wanted to play AFL for the Sydney Swans, and I wanted to swim at the Olympics. And I was like, this isn't gonna work. She is just, it takes an all elite sports people know this, but it takes something else, you need to have a drive, I don't, that I don't even know where where it comes comes from. And it's, it's not always pretty, it's selfish. And it is determined. And it is that unwilling compromise. To accept nothing else, but just to achieve, to achieve your best. And I kind of always had the saying as you leave no stone unturned. And she had that from such a young age. And you would go into a room, it was scary. She had 100 quotes up on her wall, like, we didn't have YouTube back then. But mid 90s, she's just got quotes, everywhere, like you couldn't see any of the any of the wall. And it was just filled with quotes from every and she would write them out. And it was just this obsession, and then I'd be like, the alarm would go off at 430 every morning. And we would we wouldn't be up, you know, I'm not doing five morning's a week and five afternoons a week, I might go one or two, a couple, I'm 13. Like maybe we go to you know, maybe get three a week or something. And then she's up there and to watch her, we'd be in the surf squad doing our thing, and she'd be in the swimming squad. And that it's just another level for those that you know, obviously don't know what the surf guys were just part time swimmers. You know, we're in the we're in the pool in the mornings, and we're in the surf in the afternoons. But yeah, it was we realized straight away that, you know, we're we're not going to make it because I don't think we've got what it takes. But then that clicked for me pretty at a pretty early age as well. With with, with seeing what dad did, as well as that. I love it. I want to be a part of it. I can't I'm not gonna be able to cut it. How do I how do I get involved? How do I get involved? How do I become? How do I get as close to the action as possible? Even better, how can I get paid to be as close to the action as possible? And, and share that experience as much as I can. Without having to do the training part of it. I'll do the work, I'll research I'll do whatever it takes that side of it. But if I don't have the natural ability, how can I get there. And I think that straightaway, what led me down that that media side of it and also obviously the commentating side of it, where I've just been so lucky that to wrap this up, and I think growing up I wanted to play rugby league for the local football team, manly seagulls, I ended up being the matchday guy for the manly seagulls. I liked the pre show and being grounded and doing a job right and interview the players in you know at the full time. So I'm on the I'm on Brook or they're doing and that was Sydney Swans is our local Australian football team. Same deal. I'm on the ground, interviewing them, I'm like Mike does, I'm not running through the banner, but I'm only two meters away from it, it's just as good. And then the same with swimming, you know, to be able to go to four Olympic Games for World Championships, Commonwealth Games, as well beyond pool deck, and to be paid to do it. Like come on, man. It's it's, it's amazing.

Brooke Hanson:

It's and then pretty, pretty special, pretty special for me as well, John to you know, finish a race and then to come out and be interviewed by my brother who's just as passionate about the sport than, than anyone else. But I don't know, for me growing up, I like I apologize to my siblings. So many times, I'm like, I'm sorry, I am so sorry that I was just so I guess mean at times and so self absorbed and just selfish and just so like I was so driven over, I want to make it the Olympics that nothing else mattered, nothing else matterred. And I would yell at them. If I needed more sleep if they were too loud, if they will, on the drums. And you know, it was just it was all about me. And the quotes would come from from different athletes all around the world. I read every autobiography and I tried to take inspiration from every champion and really channel those champions to make me the best the best that I could be. But there was one thing that was missing I just never believed that I was good enough to be the best so only ever aim to to be number two. And wasn't until I missed two Olympics, that I was able to just change that mindset and realize that I was good enough to be the best.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah and that's another extraordinary element of of of your story as an athlete, let's go back then to 1996, the the Australian Olympic trials for the Atlanta Olympics, just to remind everybody, you missed that team, you are in the worst possible place that a swimmer could ever be at the Olympic trials. Explain that a little bit and how that all unfolded

Brooke Hanson:

Well, yeah, swimmer breaststroker they only take two to the Olympic Games, and I finished my trials third place 11 one hundredths of a second behind, which is basically the top of your your finger. Now, if you're going to give him a bit of a trim

JOHN MOFFET:

It's like a blink

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah. And it's, you know, I was 18. I was like, finishing high school. And I was I was just absolutely devastated. Because that's all I'd wanted from from 1994 When I when I got that first swimsuit. I wanted to go to the Olympics. I wanted to represent my country and yeah, and to be so close, but so far was just so yeah, it was really hard. It was hard to swallow and Kurt, Kurt and. And Troy mom and dad Jade, everyone was there to support me, but are the the drive home in the car was just so so so hard.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah, Kurt, you were there. Tell me about this from your perspective. And of course, the perspective of the family because you had, you know, your your outside looking toward your sister,

Kurt Hanson:

I think knowing knowing the work that was that was done. And this happens to every athlete. At some point, something happens, whether it be an injury, or you know, a near miss, or you know, it just doesn't it doesn't work out to have that happen at 18 when it's your entire world. And the whole family was into it. We'd all sacrificed you know, something along the way, and it was really brutal time for the whole family. We all felt it. And that's when we all broke down and cried in the car on the on the car trip home all of us, six of us in the in the Venga bus that we call the L van. And that's when we you know, pulled into Mackers

JOHN MOFFET:

Mackers

Kurt Hanson:

yeah, McDonald's We call it Mackers in in Australia. And it was a

JOHN MOFFET:

McDonald's bit like, you know, in The Avengers, when they save the world, and then they end up in that shwarma place in the end of they're all eating fast food and kind of debriefing on it. We all got the Mac is in the car, and everyone got there, everyone's got their favorite meal. And we got to just kind of debrief did over over burgers in the in the car. And that was almost our therapy for it. I think the first stage of you know, overcoming the grief of you know, coming so close. But to in hindsight, you look back on, on Brooke missing? And what an awesome thing to have happened to her. And how insane that sounds now like what kind of brother would say that now, but if she makes it to those Olympics, does she make it in eight years time? No, I don't think so. Does she went in gold and silver in eight years time? No. Does she go to Melbourne to start to get her career going A whole nother level? Probably not. Does she meet her husband in that squad down in Melbourne? Like? So? You look back and think okay, that was terrible. But was it meant to happen any other way? I don't think so. It was a it was a life. A life defining moment that in hindsight was awesome. I love that. You share that point of view. I mean, you were the one that just that had to decide after this bitter, horrible outcome to train for four more years.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, that time of course. It was hard. But yeah, it's like Kurt looked at it and it was Yeah, was it the best thing that happened I couldn't been to Atlanta made a final that would have been weird. I would have you know, retired, finish my degree and gone got a real job probably would have happened. But instead I got chosen for a B team, which are the basically the the people that just miss out we went to med nostra and we we toured over there with the with the Aussie team and I swim faster. I swim faster than what I did at the trials. I made me realize it was right in there I was you know, maybe my taper was off, or was it something to do with my, I guess my, my mental strength or the way that I went about my racing, and I returned from there and sit on you know, I'm moving to Melbourne from Sydney. I'm training with the National breaststroke coach and I'm going to make Sydney 2000 And at that time, I also found out I was allergic to chlorine. I had two sinus operations. I had a nose reconstruction and I was out of the water for like three and a half months. And I was still during that time going I'm moving I'm still moving to Melbourne I'm I still want to make my dream come true and And yeah, it was those obstacles or hurdles, everything that I overcame. That's, I just felt like every challenge was making me stronger. Because I was just still so focused on I will be an Olympian, I will go to the Olympics. And yeah, and leaving home. So leaving home now it's so different. Like, you know, Kurt lives in the USA, I can, I can FaceTime him. And you know, you can see all of these nieces and nephews like leaving leaving home and 96, 97 It was hard because you're you're calling home and your mom and dad are paying reverse charges and moms alike. We can't afford these bills. You can't just call us every day because you miss us. As you know that the Internet back I didn't have my own computer. So yeah, it was difficult to stay in touch with such a close family. But it was what I needed to do to achieve my ultimate dream.

JOHN MOFFET:

And, you know, while you were living at home with your parents, obviously your family was your main support network. But moving to Melbourne, I guess you really started to have to rely upon the community there your coaches, your teammates, your friends. And then as Kurt said, you also met Jared, and who ultimately ended up being your husband.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, phrase freestyle freestyle. I won't hold that against him.

JOHN MOFFET:

Does he share Kurt's view on breaststrokers?

Brooke Hanson:

Definitely.

Kurt Hanson:

Everyone does.

JOHN MOFFET:

Well, you and I, we're we're we're in lockstep here. Okay, so. So yeah, we've mentioned a little bit you, you dedicated yourself to four years, and you mentioned the 2000 Olympic trials. And also keep in mind that this was the Sydney games.

Brooke Hanson:

It was yeah, my ultimate dream home games, Sydney, 2000. We were there. Back in 92, when it was announced that we were worried that Sydney was the host city of 2000. And the 2000 trials were at the new pool, it's in Sydney International Olympic Park. And I got to the trials, and I missed the team. Again, by again, 0.77 of a second.

JOHN MOFFET:

And, and I can tell you from because I've been through it. Looking at four years of training is brutally difficult to get your head around. And you just did that after 1996. And hear you came up short once again. What was your state of mind? And how did you get back on track?

Brooke Hanson:

I was Yeah, I was digging my own hole and just jumping in. And I'm like, Don't save me. Don't even think about saving me. Because I'm done.

JOHN MOFFET:

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Brooke Hanson:

Like I cannot swim another lap I can't stand it. I don't want anything to do with the pool. And yeah, I just needed time so I took a good couple months to to just really reflect and and probably ask myself that that those dark questions of can I go another another four years and if I do go another four years? What am I going to have to do? Because if I guess if you do what you've always done you'll get what you've always got so if you're gonna do another four years of you know more preparation, you know another preparation and then miss again. Yeah, it was it was hard, but it was gosh, it was soul searching it was it was really soul searching and I was blaming everyone else I was still in that blame game of it was the coach he stuffed up the tape or or when nutritionists had me you know eating you know too many carbs and not enough protein or this sports scientists got it wrong or had you know too much body fat not enough muscle like I was just blaming like everyone, everyone and then it's not until I took a really yeah just took took a step back and went hey, like you're in control. This is your dream. What about you take some responsibility for this and If you want to reset and go another four years, you've got to, you've got to lead, you've got to lead the way. And that's when I decided I was going to put together a winning team. And if they were coming with me they needed to be. They needed to be positive people that were just willing. Like I was willing to go the extra mile, they had to be willing to go the extra mile every single day. And yeah, and that's what I did.

JOHN MOFFET:

So Kurt, you're watching all this go down from afar, watching? I don't know if you're actually there at the trials. But what what were you doing at this point, you were developing your own life as it as as a broadcaster, correct?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah. So yeah, around 2000. I was super lucky. I got a unfortunately, yeah, Brooke, missed. And then I got to start at the Olympics, my first Olympics as an 18 year old, I got a scholarship with AOC, like an internship to work in their media department was only one of I think, 10 of us.

JOHN MOFFET:

Wow.

Kurt Hanson:

And that was, it was awesome. You know, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'd only just turned 18 as well, which is the legal drinking age in Australia and it was all it's all working out perfect for me and not for Brooke. But just the same just to go through and, and the experience is one thing, but it's people, meeting people meeting, how it works, how the game works, how business works, how that how the sports industry works, and how as each year progress, and as it does progress, that line between sport and entertainment, just it's there one in the same now. It's the same thing. So yeah, I was in the thick of it there. And then I got my Yeah, I got my first commentary started a year later, in, in 2001, which was one of the best years to be part of the Australian swimming team. And I'll touch on that again in a second. But I'll just just with Brooke, I think one of the biggest strengths, I think her biggest strength is the ability to reinvent herself. And I think every athlete if you want to, whether you're successful, you're not six, if you want to keep going, you've got to reinvent yourself every year. If you're doing the same thing last year that you did that you're going to do this year and keep doing it. It's not going to work, you've need to add an something else do you kit. And I think always touch back on. You look at Brooke physically when she missed in 96. And then you look at her physically when she made it in 2004. She made herself into a beast into a monster. And that was through that mentality of getting a getting a team together and leaving no stone unturned.

JOHN MOFFET:

Kurt mentioned reinvention. And you mentioned that you were brilliant blaming everybody but yourself in 2000 What was the change of mindset? How did you change your mindset so that you could get through the those four years and then ultimately make the 2004 games?

Brooke Hanson:

Oh, I was a exactly what Kurt said it was leaving no stone unturned and the penny just dropped of this is it. This is your final opportunity. And it was a real I guess. Yeah, it was that Jerry Maguire moment of who's coming with me, who's coming with me, who's coming with me because we are going to do something inspiring. And we're going to do it together. And so once I formed this team, I really just felt like the energy that the team gave me made me just lead lead the team, but also made my whole team feel like they'll part of something something amazing. So that was yeah, a new head coach, new assistant coach, new strength and conditioning coach new psychologists, the new intuitionist new sports science team, all new people that I brought in to to I guess they were the best at what they did. And I wanted the best to help me achieve greatness and the first thing was no longer aiming for second because I thought if you if you just aim for second, I'll make the Olympic team. Instead, I'm going to aim for first so in those four years, we're going to aim for first we're going to aim to be the first swimmer in the 100 breaststroke first remote in the Toronto breaststroke first swimmer in the 200 individual medley we're going to be the first and then so that the mindset helped me but then yeah, everything else sort of just came. It was it was interesting to look at it because I believe that I'd always done it like that. But it's not until I changed that mindset of I am a winner and I will train like a winner every single day that the results started coming in. And I had natural ability when I first started being a breaststroker at the age of five. But you know that was well and truly gone by that by the time I was 22 So at 22 to 26. For those four years. I consistently showed up every single day. I never missed the session. And in the year leading into the Olympic trials, I gave up my four most favorite things. Alcohol, cheese, chocolate and ice cream. Everyone's like, You're nuts, like, what are you doing? And I'm like, this is this is not a sacrifice. This is a choice to be the very best in the world. This is my choice, because I'm going to stand there and look at those girls at the trials and go, Okay, I've done everything I possibly can. And if you're better than me today bring up because I know that I've done everything, everything physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, I was just ready for that moment. And it wasn't a sacrifice. It was a choice. It was just a choice to be the best. And a light head coach John Talbert, he, he said to me, you're always the bridesmaid, you will never be the bride until you start aiming to be first and believing that you're good enough to be first. And when you've got your head coach telling you that it's like, Okay, I gotta get this together and start believing that I can be the first best in Australia.

JOHN MOFFET:

And it paid off. You tell me describe what it was like. Finally, finally, after eight years of pursuing specifically, making an Australian Olympic team you finally made it

Brooke Hanson:

just completed Yeah, complete joy. It was yet so hard to put actually put into words what it was like to to I put fake fingernails on John, I had to get fake fingernails because it was gonna miss the team by a couple 100 seconds. Before you're I didn't need that fingernails because I ended up winning the trials and 100 breaststroke by I'd even know. So I blew my opposition away. I've touched the wall. And I I remember seeing my name up in lights. brocantes An Olympic qualifier. And it's still brutal. Like it brings tears to my eyes now because because it was the day it was in the dark moments at 415 in the morning, when my alarm would go off. And you'd have the devil versus Angel mindset and the devil God just stay in press snooze, just you know, just have 10 more minutes, you train so hard, you deserve it. And then the angel mindset going, get up out of bed and go, you can make the Olympic team you can do it. And when I touch the wall and saw that it happened it was it was it was this moment where I just felt so like happy and content and yeah, so like everything just stopped and it was like slow market see my mum and dad crying I could see Kurt so happy my siblings going crazy in the stands. All my grandparents were there. And it was a moment for them as well. But, and for my whole support team. But for me it was like yes, yes, you did it. You did it. But it's not over yet. Because you want to go the Olympics and return Yeah, return with with a medal. But yeah, hard to put into words. But after the heart ache and. And the pain of missing twice. It was just it was it was just the best feeling in the world.

JOHN MOFFET:

What was it like witnessing this, Kurt?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, it was it was really hard for me because I called it I had to call it for for swimming Australia. So I was commentating at the event. And I've always, you know, my professionalism is, is number one. That's what my dad's always taught me. And I probably downplayed it more than I should have. Because it's you sister. So you're you're consciously aware that like you don't want to go over the top. And I probably played it down a little bit. Just to try and seem even keeled right, to a certain extent, but it was deep inside you're, you're pretty split. And thankfully, I was lucky enough to go to Athens and and that was a lot more emotional for me that way. But I'm intrigued. And I'm intrigued with all athletes at the top of their game about when Brooke speaks about the the angel and the devil on the shoulder when something gets tough or when the alarm goes off. And what where does that come from? Where does that come from in some people that and it's not just only pro athletes, but they're just some people there that are just can shut that negative thought up in a split second.

Brooke Hanson:

And that's it and it's compact like compartmentalize and put negative behind you and then just focus on the positive and then we've spoken about our family and our community and then having role models in our life like our grandparents and our parents that did exactly that. And when when the going gets tough. However, whatever that is in life, you just got to find that extra strength and you have to push forward and and that's where mine came from. of just Slide you won, you can do it. And don't give up and it will be worth it. And was it worth it? Yeah, totally. Totally worth it. I didn't miss the team. I made it and I qualified in the 100 breaststroke to earn a breastroke return individual medley, the four by one medley relay. And then I had the head coaches going, Oh, you've qualified for too many events. We think if you really want to focus on winning a medal, maybe give up the tourney medley because a clashes in the program and like, Okay, I'm on the Olympic team, and I just want to come back with a medal like, just, just yeah, just crazy. Crazy to think, where does that come from? And it's still in all of us now.

Kurt Hanson:

Well, it's in some people more than others. But Brooke is an annoying, like an annoyingly positive person and you are too. You are an annoyingly positive person. I'm not as positive anywhere near what you guys had. I love a bit of pessimism in my life. It's great. John. And I find a way to turn pessimism into a positive thing. It works. I can make it work for me. But even with Tokyo in Tokyo getting I'm like, Tokyo is gonna get canceled and 22 and John's like it, they'll find a way it'll be all good. Anyway, there's people that come along, you guys are too there was another guy I trained with. Ben, he was younger than me. Great kid. We're doing a set of 10 for hundreds or something on a Monday morning. It's pretty surf to surf squad thing to do. And it's brutal. But we get we've done two or three or we're anywhere like that. And we're all struggling. And I look across we've got five seconds rest or 10 seconds rest, which feels like a millisecond when you're hurting. And he's got this big smile on his face. Now like what I'm about to die, like, Do you know what I'm like what he's like, We're halfway to halfway he's way I'll go. Shit. We're only a quarter of the way through. And he's like, Well, halfway to halfway. And now I use that when I'm recording or the way through a set or I'm a quarter way through a swim or whatever. I'm like, I'm already halfway halfway these people infuriating, incredible the way they look at the world. Everything is a glass half full. And it's it's such a big factor in success.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, John, my my brothers say that at my if if I was going to pass away the thing that I'd say about me is Brooke was positive and organized.

JOHN MOFFET:

You know, what will be on your epitaph as well. And that is that you are a silver individual gold medalist or silver individual medalist and a relay gold medalist. Like that's a big deal. And especially in light of all the work that you put in.

Brooke Hanson:

Again, I'm yeah, when I pinch myself and just that's all I ever wanted was to be on the Olympic podium, gold, silver or bronze saw so many champions, achieved that over the years and, and I returned home as the happiest silver medalist that ever went to an Olympics because I never thought once about how I missed the gold or how I just won won the silver over bronze by 1/100 of a second or I was like I'm on the podium. This is my dream. This is this has come true. And it's not fourth place and it's not just missing out. And it was just the most Yeah, amazing moment where again, I was just so true to myself for that whole preparation, I swung my fastest ever 100 meters breastroke time in the Olympic final under that much pressure and that much nerves and I couldn't ask for anything more. And it was however our parents and bought us up as well. If you go and race, your part of any team you give 110% if that's if that's all you've got on the day, wherever you finish, you should be happy and I was so happy, absolutely thrilled with my result. And even better. Kurt was there and I've got a special golden ticket at my house. And Kurt's got a story of of him actually getting into the Athens 100 meters breaststroke Olympic final at the swim pool but yeah, this is in my office and I get to look at it every single day. So it's actually yeah, it's a tickets to the Athens 2004 Olympic final that belong to my brother. But yeah, can you tell the story?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, well, yeah, just before I tell that's just like we live in such a Ricky Bobby world. Where if you're not first you're last true. And especially as much as I love the US. It's such if you want to be successful, you got to want to more than you ever want to breathe and it's You got to be number one. And it's, it's the phone number one finger up there and Winning is everything. No, it's not. It's not everything. It's what you, it's what you get out of the journey to that. And only losers say that if you don't win, no, it's not true. It's not true. If you if you leave nothing, if you've got nothing left to give, if you've given it everything you've had, you've left no stone unturned, you're gonna get sick of me saying that, then you've won, you've won and you're, you know, you've done your best. And then you can retire or you can move on happy knowing that there's nothing more you could have done. And the same in your own journey, especially in 84. There's nothing more you could have done, you did everything in your power to execute the best response. And it was a brilliant race that he received was an incredible race, wasn't it? And you did everything in your power as well, in that in that final, obviously, when you're when you're injured, and knowing that there's nothing more that you could have done. You know, that's, that's, that's where it's left, that's where it is. With the ticket, I said to the person at the entrance, I said, Who's ripping the tickets. I'm like, my sister is going to win a medal tonight. Can you not rip my ticket? I want to keep it as a memento for her. And that might were in Greece, it was amazing Olympics and the Greek person was said, Sure. No worries. Wow, let me keep

Brooke Hanson:

it. I'm crying. Seriously, and so very special.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah. And then so to watch that race, I don't know what it's I've never raced obviously at that level. But, you know, a race that a national, you know, national final when I won my national surf title, it everything slows down. You know, I mean, like, it's a million miles an hour, and it's not. And watching Brooks race, you know, went for a minute. I mean, it change. To me, it felt like a lifetime. And I to watch her right, and I didn't watch anyone else. I just watched Bruce. And it just looks, it was just a play. It was it was a pleasure. It was a pleasure to watch her race it at the highest level, knowing everything that she'd been through. And not just like, everyone's got a story. Everyone's got a story that they've, they've had to go through, you know, triumphs and tragedies to make it and this is your job in sports life balance is to tell these incredible stories and how they inspire not just your sport, but your life and life after sport.

JOHN MOFFET:

No, no, indeed. And, you know, there's so many so many athletes, me included in that list. And the majority is that you don't necessarily get to retire on your own terms. And I know that you had something happened to you, Brooke that forced you to really face retirement and and that was the incident where you actually were doing the endless spa. Tell Tell me Tell me about that. And, and how that all came about?

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, I was at the, you know, the, I guess the top of my game still is an elite swimmer and training for the next Olympics and just a really unlucky accident. I got an electric shock whilst demonstrating how to swim in a swimming spa for one of my longtime sponsors and and yeah, it was it was it was terrifying. I'd gone from my normal, bubbly, happy self to feeling this, this terrible energy through my body. And then I'd collapsed onto the ground and my dad and husband were first over to to see if they need to CPR they've called the paramedics and I was rushed straight to hospital and had suffered a severe electric shock and found myself in bed for like the next Yes, three months and fell straight onto my shoulder. So I was seeing a pain specialist in having injections in my shoulder like every day and and if anything, yeah, I didn't finish that didn't finish trimming on my terms. It just made me realize if that's the last day that I was going to live, there was just so much more that I wanted to achieve. And swimming just wasn't as important anymore. And I didn't have that internal drive to want to be the best because yeah, I sort of just, I guess had that moment where I thought wow, it could have all been over so fast. And and yeah, it was it was sad in a way that it wasn't on my terms. But at the same time I'm on a positive note, I'm here and I've I survived and there's so many people that don't survive electric shocks, particularly when it's connected to water

JOHN MOFFET:

in in your book you chose because you don't remember a lot of it because you were unconscious or semi conscious. You chose to have your parents your mom and dad tell the story from their perspective. And I got really, really emotional because having children myself and you having children yourself, it's kind of easy to put yourself in their position which is seeing their child and not knowing what's going to happen. So it was it was just a beautifully told story from your parents and I really felt horrible for what they had to go through as well. Again, the family support.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, the family was so supportive and I remember mum even saying no, no, you can't you can't give her any, you know, any drugs for the pain because she's, you know, she's an athlete, and they've got a you know, they've got to monitor what they take, and that might be on the banned list, and then Mom's gone. Shaking her head and gone, what am I thinking, like, save Brooks life, like, you know, it's just because I've been parents of the athlete for so long, then, obviously, I'd been drug tested from a 13 year old the whole way through and mums. Like, I just couldn't believe that that came into my mind at that point. But it's, yeah, it's interesting to read your read how they felt during that time. And, and there was just so supportive, and I remember, we decided to go to Fiji and, and do a swim clinic for the kids over there. And I took mum and dad and my husband, Jared them, and they said, oh, like, what are we going to do? Are we going to come straight home? And I said, No, we're going to take some time. And afterwards, and I just need some time to really decide if I'm going to go on to the Beijing Olympics, or if I'm going to retire and and that was that was some good time away from home to make me realize, hey, you know, it's time to move on. With? Yeah, with Life Beyond Sport.

JOHN MOFFET:

Yeah. And that's one of the one of the topics that I always like to delve into in sports life balance, and that is those lessons that we've been talking about this whole time. Those lessons that we learned from sports, and how they can be reapplied to life. You had an amazing opportunity to not very long ago, do a TED Talk speech. And you talk about do it don't quit. And you're basically talking about all those lessons that you learned as an athlete and how you reapply them to the ups and downs of life.

Brooke Hanson:

To me do it don't quit is is my mantra every single day. So it was with me when I achieved you know, Olympic gold and silver. The highlight of my swimming career was the six gold medals that I won the World short course in Indianapolis. But then beyond beyond the pool, I've always I guess aim to continue to be connected to sports through being physical and for my own mental health and and then to have that balance between sport and then my life as a as a mom and writing my own business. But do it don't quit is I guess my mantra and it's come from my community and my grandfather's who have told me stories of some of the hardest days that they've ever had to go through. And how that those key words and and that mentality of remaining true to yourself and just doing it and not quitting and I'll never Yeah, I'll just never forget my late grandfather Fred Hanson just said just just do it. Just do it just never quit Believe in your dreams never quit and and go to bed tonight. Thinking of one great thing you've achieved today because we all have 1000 things on our to do list but just do one thing a day that you're so proud of and and I've got yeah, I've got Fred Hanson and Jack mills to thank for that because the role models and heroes and and people within my community who instilled those values pretty early on but gave me that natural of do it don't quit has yeah has I guess really given me a power source at times to realize that if I continue to do it and don't quit that success in life will continue to come my way and and yes, something that I'm so proud of and now that I'm instilling that into to my children I'm a mom of three really active sporty kids and and I just tell them if it if it if it's if it needs to be it's up to you it's up to you to set your alarm it's up to you not to quit to do it if you want to do it it's got to come from within mum and dad definitely got Kurt and I to believe that it had to come from within and and and that's a really important lesson that I want to make sure that my kids that have along the way they're not going to be pushed from Java deny that it's got to come from within and they've got to do it themselves.

JOHN MOFFET:

You know, we all you were talking about like the ups and downs and the support and you have your family and and all these obstacles that we run into in life in the world ran into an obstacle a year and a half ago and in Kurt and I knew each other but we really didn't start becoming close Intel COVID hit and all the gyms closed down and all the pools closed down. And we started swimming at the beach. And it was swimming with a group that was already swimming in Santa Monica. And they called themselves a broke because what they did is they ignored the lockdown protocols of COVID. I can tell you from my point of view that that was the community that I needed at the time that just didn't. That didn't exist. We had our families, I guess to lean on, you had a vet to lean on. I was here with my family. I'm sure you were you're with your family in Australia. But communities is so important. What are your thoughts on that?

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, I think one thing with and we'll get to that in a sec. But one thing with COVID was and it hit me everyone had a moment where it hit them. And my moment was when I went to Whole Foods to go shopping, and the all the processed food that the chips all the chocolate aisle, the alcohol aisle, they were empty. And then I went to the fresh food section. And it was bulging. And straightaway, you knew people people are just binging this is people are panicking, and it's just a bin and they're just going to eat it away. They're going to eat their feelings away. And I knew right then I went back to a vet. And I was like, we've, there's no, when there's no drinking on school nights, you know, that's just a rule that we're going to do for all of COVID we turn this negative into a positive, we're going to cook, we're going to make real food every night. And we so we got that part of our life. That was great. And then now like you said, now we needed community and I needed committee because I wasn't working at all at least a bit how to work community still to go with and then you invited me down to tower 26. And this, this group of swimmers that they were just they just come from everywhere, all different walks of life, different nationalities. And no one cared. No one cared who you were, where you'd come from what you're done. But we it's literally saved, it saved my life. It saved my life, because we cheated COVID And not that we that we broke the law, but we worked around the rules we were in before the lifeguards were in the water before the lifeguard started. We were we got out as they you know, began work. So they were there. The ability to be able to go into and I cannot stress this enough, but cold water, there is something and I know Wim Hof. So a monster and everyone knows about it. But if you haven't tried cold water, and you have the chance, whether it be a cold shower, or a cold bath, or going into cold ocean, and it's no one told me before I moved to LA that the water is really, really cold. But there's something in that, that it you know, it does, it's it's been scientifically proven now It lifts your mood. And then for us to go into the ocean, cold saltwater with the group. And then you and I would swim. And we I remember this one day, we swim in the fog. And we were heading north towards Santa Monica Pier. And I stick my head up. And this fin just comes at us. And I I'm an Australian 101 I hate sharks. Like I there's not a moment like it's it's your monkey mind in your head. Just thinking like every time you're out in you know, in, in the water in the ocean has been the ocean all my life. But when you're assuming fire at sea, you think in Jaws is gonna come from below and, and take you out and this fin just comes and I stop. And I grab you. And I like what? Like, there was a fin and I remember John looks at me he's like, why don't we just wait a second? And we'll see what it is. And I'm like, what if it is what we don't want it to be. And he's like, Well swim for sure. But just wait. So we waited for one second next thing, this dolphin just pops up like right in front of us. And just like pretty much just looks us in the eye. And those moments to get to be able to do that. And because there was less boats out in COVID and the water was cleaner. And everything kind of it was like nature reset a bit and came back to life and to be able to go out with this with this group. And then we'd all swim together and we're all in it together. And then we go for coffee afterwards and tell you know, all our war stories and silly things and that that sense of community is it's invaluable. You if if you if you said I had to pay $100 a session to be a part of that. I would have I would have walked out the money because you can't you can't buy those you can't buy those experiences and I and still today it's a group that whenever I come back to LA I want to see I want to can we go for a swim or can we go at least go for a coffee and a walk if the waters too dirty or or too cold? So yeah, that whole team road team is, you know, is something that I'll never forget

Brooke Hanson:

this. It's a sense of community and friendship but also purpose. And when you've got that purpose To wake up each morning and to know that you're connecting with the water and with friends and community, there's there's nothing better there is nothing better say he's soul medicine.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, and I think in Australia as well, when you talk about community, and you talk about surf clubs, and in the US, Americans and most everyone else around the world doesn't understand what a surf club is. But in Australia, because it's such a coastal dominated country, we have over 300 surf clubs throughout the coast of every state of Australia, and territory. And it's, that's your community. It's we're not religious people. But it's our church every Sunday, with Brooks down there at Currumbin on the Gold Coast with her nippers and her kids and, and kids aging from five to 95. And if I was back in Australia living there, I'd be down at freshwater surf club. With with everyone there as well catching up. And that sense of what sets Surf Lifesaving apart from every other sport. Like it's life saving your you start in that to save lives. You volunteer your time to be a part of that club as a senior member, you volunteer patrolling the beach for a decade of your life at No, you don't get paid. You're not a like you're not a professional lifeguard. You work in conjunction with lifeguards, but, and I wish it was here in the US because I think it'd be a huge hit. I know they have the lifeguard service and they do a great job. But I think yeah, Surf Lifesaving is such a huge part of our family's life. And I think it's such a big part of what gives us our sense of community and giving something back. And for our grandfather to be, you know, a part he just got named a life member of surf, lifesaving Australia. Wow. And the oldest, the oldest member to ever be named a member, it took you long enough to give me 93 years to be named, but he got there. He had a couple of battles with the, with the hierarchy. But yeah, to have that, that selflessness to coach and he you know, he said he he's coached over three and a half 1000 Kids in his life. And then I you know, I went into coaching volunteer coaching as well, at first what and just trying to pass on what you've learned, then Brooks, you know, your manager or you do your, your stuff at Currumbin talk a bit about that.

Brooke Hanson:

Yeah, managing and mentoring but yeah, our grandfather 70 years, he's coached as a volunteer, that's volunteer that's like, that's not one cent into your bank account. That's you know, getting a box of chocolates or you know, a six pack of beer at the end of the year from a family say Merry Christmas. And then for for now, we so my grandfather's were both surf lifesavers, my my parents, Kurt and myself and try and Jade and then now we're raising kids that are also surf lifesavers, so they're only young nippers, and they learn all the skills of swimming and swimming in the ocean and run some runs and practicing on the board. And then they'll get to a point where they can go for what's called their bronze medallion. And then they can volunteer every every weekend on the beach, and they can save people from from rips and from, you know, dangerous situations and learn first aid. But for me, when I think about longevity, and what I do now to give back to the community, and that gives me purpose and it makes makes me happy. You know, it fills my cup up to to be mentoring young kids and to provide them with I guess the knowledge that I've been handed down from, from my community and my family. And I love going down there and just seeing seeing the kids having a go, never giving up and just just really enjoying sport. And I think that's the most important thing as well. It's you know, it's not that being a champion, or, you know, win, lose or draw. It's about just trying your hardest. And that's where it all began for us. So when I look at how it began for us, and where I see myself in the future, longevity to me is Yeah, eventually retiring but never retiring from volunteering, because I believe that purpose and volunteering long, long, long into those years when you when you age, will will give you more longevity because you've been able to give back and and I know that that community has given Kurt and myself so much and it's nice now to give back but know that that's can be part of part of my future, with volunteering and community as well.

JOHN MOFFET:

Thank you so much for talking about your communities and your families and the importance of all of that and how truly it is completely universal. It's just part of being human. And that's what I was hoping to get out of speaking with you is is that it really transcends culture and boundaries and places where we are on the planet. So thank you

Brooke Hanson:

Thanks so much, John. And it's yeah, it's been a pleasure to hook up with yourself and my brother Kurt, and hopefully I can get over, see sometime and actually be in the studio and do this again.

Kurt Hanson:

Yeah, yeah, thanks. So it's been awesome. And I just want to say, the, you know, the experiences and the places and the metals are fantastic. But the people, it's the people every time the friendships that you make, the contacts that you make in the that's, it's the best part of life. That's what it's all about. Thanks

JOHN MOFFET:

again. Thanks, Brooke. Thanks, Kurt. Brooke and Kurt asked me to share these quotes. Brookes favorite is from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Our greatest glory is not and never failing, but rising up every time we fail. And Kurt finds inspiration in a quote from Australian soccer star and human rights advocate, Craig Foster. He asks, What does it mean to represent your country? Who does it benefit? The real power in a sporting career is the platform that it gets you to do something else? Indeed, I hope you found broken Kurt's episode of sports life balance revealing, educational and inspirational. And if you did, please give us your five star review. And don't forget to spread the word. I'm John Moffitt. Thanks for joining us. And we'll be back next week with a brand new episode for you. Well, everyone. So one last thing, Kurt? Yes, you welcomed us into this episode. So how about giving us a signature sports life balance? All right, you ready? 321

Kurt Hanson:

Thanks for joining us here with my sister Brooke and myself. Kurt here on this episode of sports life balance.

JOHN MOFFET:

rocked it.

Kurt Hanson Profile Photo

Kurt Hanson

Professional Sports Commentator, Announcer, Presenter, MC

20 years as a professional sports commentator, presenter & announcer across an extensive list of the world’s biggest sporting events & organizations including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth & Asian Games.

Brooke Hanson Profile Photo

Brooke Hanson

Motivational Speaker, MC, Olympic Swimmer

Brooke Hanson is an Australian competitive swimmer, Olympic gold medallist, world champion, and former world record-holder.