Monday, January 31, 2011

World Champion Wallabies

Left-right: Gary Waldon, Grant Hackett, KR, Tim Horan

It’s not often you get two double world champions from different sports coming around to sledge you on an injury.

Last Friday night I had 3 visitors from Australia.

I’ve known Tim Horan since 1990 when we worked together in the beer and rugby business in Australia. Tim is probably Australia’s best ever Center and would be in most people’s old time world 15’s. A proud Queenslander, a double world cup winner and an all round good bloke. He’s now working setting up a private banking practice for Westpac for Athletes and Entertainers; pretty smart niche. He suffered a similar injury to mine in somewhat more noble circumstances (a Super 10 Final) and recovered 100% which was reassuring. He was accompanied by triple Olympic Gold medalist swimmer, Grant Hackett, who won the 1500 meters Gold in the 2000 and the 2004 Olympics. Funny, smart, humble, like world champions used to be when we were growing up.

They were accompanied by their project director, Gary Waldon, who has the almost impossible task of trying to herd these two champion athletes into a cohesive unit. Their meetings so far in the US had been pretty entertaining. Their American guests hadn’t quite learned to figure out that sledging is a sign of respect not a precursor for open warfare.

We were planning to head on down to Cercle Rouge for a great night with chef Pierre, an ex French prop, but my crutches weren’t up to the 22 inches of snow, however, in the streets so the Wallabies went down alone. They have still not resurfaced.

Triple Olympic Gold Medalist Grant Hackett as Dr. Evil!