Grant Hackett still wants to be a mentor in Rio after in-flight incident

Grant Hackett is regarded as one of Australia’s best Olympians and athletes, but after his mid-air meltdown on a flight

Grant Hackett is regarded as one of Australia’s best Olympians and athletes, but after his mid-air meltdown on a flight recently many are questioning whether or not he should be allowed to attend the Rio Olympics as a mentor.

Hackett was on his way home from the Olympic swimming qualifying trials, where he failed to make the final team, when he got drunk and allegedly groped the man sitting next to him.

He is said to have consumed more than half a bottle of gin before reaching over and putting his hand inside the man’s shirt and “tweaking his nipple”.

He had to be helped off the plane of was pictured slumped over in a wheelchair at the airport.

Hackett has since apologised for the incident and says he has to address his issue with binge drinking.

Furthermore, Hackett says he wants to use his past experience in the pool to help mentor the young swimmers heading to Brazil this year to compete in the Olympics.

“As much as these experiences are negative and have hurt … going through the ups and downs I have had may create greater guidance to athletes I want to help,” Hackett said.

The triple Olympic gold medallist felt he could still make a difference with the national team.

“I do know what it takes to win an Olympic gold medal,” he said.

“And there are a lot of people on that team who’ve got an opportunity and talent to win one.

“I would hate to see a situation like James Magnussen where he missed out on gold by a hundredth of a second because someone wasn’t on his side giving him the right advice.

“I would love to be there for people who want my support.”

The request has divided many, with some people saying he needs to deal with his own issues before taking on any sort of guidance role with young athletes.

Others though say he deserves the chance to redeem himself and say his experience and expertise could be a huge support to our young athletes facing the pressure of their first Olympics.

What do you think?

Should Grant Hackett be allowed to mentor the young swimmers at the Rio Olympics? Or, do they need a less controversial role model?

  1. Quite simply …NO!
    All these drunk, drugged and disorderly sports people want to be role models? These are not the role models our kids need….look at the quiet achievers, they are the best role models….

  2. Catherine Reed  

    I feel Grant Hackett has had enough chances. Who could have respect for him now. No we couldn’t watch him. We would flick channels.

    • Lynne White  

      Totally agree! I wouldn’t watch him either.

  3. Robyn Bell  

    YES. Helping the younger athletes can only aid in his getting back on track with his life as well as enriching their lives too. It’s all about give and take/the teacher being the student. Everyone benefits.

  4. Joan Marshall  

    Grant Hackett is a disgrace to Australia. Imagine being married to him? Grant and other athletes should realize that as a prominent athlete he is expected to show an example of good behavior. The same goes for Tiger Woods, Politicians, anyone in a prominent position of authority. Grant is an ambassador for his country how dare he let us down.

  5. Anne  

    He can’t even look after himself, so why should he get an all expenses paid trip to the Olympics supposedly mentoring our Athletes?

    How many times has he said ‘sorry’?
    Too many, & he STILL can’t get himself in order.

    He needs at least TWELVE months in Rehab. But he seems so far gone, that that may not even solve his multiple addictions.

    He’s a weak person, a loser, & the sooner he stops resting on his laurels the better.

    And everyone else just forget him, as he’s just the biggest fool, & only has HIMSELF to blame.
    This last episode on a flight was way beyond the pale.

    It’s about time this Country stopped putting any sports person who does drugs, drinks way too much alcohol, up on pedestals. They’re certainly NOT role models for our youth.

  6. Greg Keating  

    To who?
    This is how to be a drugged, drunk, athlete, parent living in the past.
    Yeah right he has ticked all the boxers above.


  7. Henry  

    NO! Get some regular AA, Anger Management and Social behaviour mentoring yourself for the rest of your life from some experts because you ain’t a mentor but a tormentor.

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