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10 August 2021

Congratulations Team Deakin on Olympic gold! Get ready to support our current students as the Paralympics begin in Tokyo

With the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics coming to an end during last night’s spectacular Closing Ceremony, we congratulate our participating Deakin elite-athlete students and alumni who did us proud during the Games! We now look forward to cheering on our current students who will represent both Deakin and Australia in the green and gold when the rescheduled 2020 Summer Paralympic Games begin in Tokyo on Tuesday 24 August.

See all the Paralympics action with us later this month! Learn more about our Team Deakin Paralympians below and get ready to follow their Paralympic dreams as they go for gold over the next few weeks!

Deakin elite athlete and Paralympian Alexandra VineyAlex Viney: Rowing – Paralympics

Master of Business (Sport Management) student Alex joined the national team after only five months as a para athlete, winning gold at both the 2019 NSW State Championships and Australian National Championships. The Deakin community has been keenly following Alex’s outstanding achievements over the years, and proudly recognised her at the 2019 Deakin Sport Awards. In her role as a Lifeline Community Custodian, Alex shared her story about how she became a para athlete following a life-changing accident when she was 18 that threatened to cut short her fledgling rowing career.

Image of Nathan Pellissier playing table tennis.Nathan Pellissier: Table Tennis – Paralympics

Currently studying his Master of Professional Accounting and Finance while he works part-time at a Law Chambers, Nathan is debuting at his first Paralympics in Tokyo. Nathan claimed gold medals at three major international championships in 2017, including the Korean Para Open and the Taiwan Para Open. In 2018 Nathan won bronze medals at the Spanish Para Open and US Para Open. We can’t wait to see Nathan battle it out to realise his goal of bringing a medal home! 

Congratulations to our Olympians!

Deakin alumnus and Olympian Lucy StephanIn exciting news during the Games, rower Lucy Stephan, who formerly studied a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin, won gold in Tokyo in the women’s coxless fours alongside her teammates Rosie Popa, Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison.

Congratulations Lucy and team!​​​​​​​

Well done to our current Deakin students

Deakin elite athlete and Olympian Hana BasicHana Basic: Athletics (100m) – Olympics
Making her Olympic debut in Tokyo, current Bachelor of Health and Physical Education student Hana finished fifth in her 100m athletics heat and consequently did not progress to the semi-finals. Setting consistent new personal bests throughout 2021, Hana is now the fourth-fastest Aussie female sprinter of all time, with a personal best of 11.18 seconds. Well done on your first Olympics, Hana!

Deakin elite athlete and Olympian Ezi MagbegorEzi Magbegor: Basketball – Olympics
At her first Olympics, psychology student and professional basketballer Ezi was one of the keys to the Australian Opals’ gold medal quest. We were holding our collective breath for Ezi and the Opals as they fought hard through early defeats (including the contentious preliminary loss to China) but they were brought down by the formidable USA team during the quarter-finals.

​​​​​​​Ezi helped secure the 2020 WNBA Championship for Seattle Storm and was named the Betty Watson Australian Youth Player of the Year at the 2020 WNBL Awards for her dazzling season with the Deakin Melbourne Boomers. Well done Ezi, and we look forward to following your promising career in future!

Deakin elite athlete and Olympian Campbell WattsCampbell Watts: Travelling reserve for Rowing – Olympics
Talented rower Campbell, who’s studying a Bachelor of Property and Real Estate/Bachelor of Commerce, was a travelling reserve following an impressive series of World Rowing Championship wins in recent years. Claiming silver for the men’s quadruple scull in 2018, Campbell and team placed third in the quadruple scull semi-final at the 2019 event to qualify for the Olympics.

Well done to our Deakin alumni

Olympian Rebecca AllenRebecca Allen: Basketball – Olympics
Rebecca, who did a masters in marketing at Deakin, currently plays for both Arka Gdynia in Poland and New York Liberty in the WNBA. Representing the Opals, she won bronze at the 2014 FIBA World Cup, silver at the 2018 FIBA World Cup and bronze at the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup. Playing alongside current Deakin student Ezi Magbegor in the Australian Opals team, we congratulate Rebecca on her promising Olympic debut and fighting spirit in the face of fierce on-court competition.

Olympian Rhydian CrowleyRhydian Cowley: Athletics (50km Walk) – Olympics
Rhydian, who completed his Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin, has eight appearances in the green and gold at the highest levels, including Olympics and world championships. A new personal best of 1:20.19 in 2019 elevated Rhydian to number seven Australian all-time. Rhydian placed eighth in the men’s 50km race walk on Friday morning, no small feat indeed!

Olympian Blake EdwardsBlake Edwards: Water Polo – Olympics
Olympic debutant Blake is a former Bachelor of Commerce student. Captain of the 2013 and 2015 World University Games teams, Blake won World Cup silver with the Aussie Sharks in 2018 and in 2019 claimed bronze at the World Super League Finals. Despite some losses in Tokyo, Blake showed impressive goal-scoring in the preliminary games against Kazakhstan and Serbia before the men’s team fell to Spain in a fierce clash last week. Well done, Blake and the Sharks!

Olympian Henry FrayneHenry Frayne: Athletics (Long Jump) – Olympics
Bachelor of Commerce graduate Henry is just the third Australian to compete in both the long and triple jump at the Olympics, and he placed an impressive seventh in the long jump at the 2016 Rio Games. Henry won his first national long jump title in 2021 with a leap of 7.97m. During the Games, Henry placed 14th (7.93m) in the Long Jump event, missing out on the final by 3cms. 

Olympian Jessica HansenJessica Hansen: Swimming (100m Breaststroke) – Olympics
Swimmer and Deakin alumnus Jessica finished fifth in her 100m Breaststroke heat earlier in the Games, which brought her first Olympics journey in Tokyo to an end. Jessica, who studied a Bachelor of Exercise Sport Science/Business (Sports Management) at Deakin, nabbed the silver medal in the 2021 Olympic Trials. In her second world championship appearance in 2019, she won silver in the 4x100m medley relay.

Olympian Jeffrey RiseleyJeffrey Riseley: Athletics (800m) – Olympics
Jeffrey, who completed a double degree in Exercise Sports Science and Sports Management, was competing in his fourth Olympics in Tokyo. After a five-year break from the national team, he remains arguably Australia’s best all-round middle-distance runner. He placed fifth in both the 800m and 1500m at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Well done to Jeffrey who took out fourth place in the 800m heat in Tokyo before finishing fifth in the semi-final.

Deakin alumnus and Olympian Lucy StephanLucy Stephan: Rowing – Olympics
Lucy, who studied a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin, was competing at her second Olympics in Tokyo, following her appearance at Rio in 2016. An experienced rower, Lucy raced for the Australian Women’s Fours in 2018 and 2019, winning four golds, one silver and one bronze across the two seasons, including taking the top honours in the 2019 World Championships regatta. Congratulations again on your gold medal win, Lucy!

Olympian Brooke StrattonBrooke Stratton: Athletics (Long Jump) – Olympics
A former Bachelor of Health Science student, Brooke placed an impressive seventh at the 2016 Rio Olympics, breaking the Australian long jump record (7.05m), and won silver at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. In 2019, she had a great year with four competitions over 6.70m, and placed 10th at the World Championships. Brooke progressed to the women’s Long Jump final last week in Tokyo after placing eighth (6.60m) in the qualifying round and finished in seventh place.

Rowie Webster Women's Water Polo AustraliaRowena Webster: Water Polo – Olympics
Former Bachelor of Physical Education student ‘Rowie’ has notched 300 Test caps and was named captain of the women’s team in Tokyo. Known as one of the toughest defenders in women’s water polo, Tokyo was her third Games, after helping Australia win bronze against Hungary at the 2012 London Games. Rowie helped lead the Aussie Stingers to win five games in Tokyo, with the team finishing in fifth place overall. 

Best of luck to all our Deakin athletes – we’re cheering you from home! The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be televised live and free exclusively on Seven and 7TWO, and simulcast in HD on 7plus.

Some photographs by Getty Images.

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