Neil Brooks is an Australian former sprint freestyle swimmer. He is best known for winning the 4 × 100 m medley relay at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. His international career ended when he was suspended for drinking 46 cans of beer on the return flight to Australia after the 1986 Commonwealth Games. In retirement, he became a news presenter and sports commentator, but was fired amid alcohol problems. Brooks is married to the former Australian swimmer and Olympic medallist Tracey Brooks.
About Neil Brooks in brief
Neil Brooks is an Australian former sprint freestyle swimmer. He is best known for winning the 4 × 100 m medley relay at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow as part of the Quietly Confident Quartet. His international career ended when he was suspended for drinking 46 cans of beer on the return flight to Australia after the 1986 Commonwealth Games. In retirement, he became a news presenter and sports commentator, but was fired amid alcohol problems. Brooks emigrated to Australia as a toddler and started swimming lessons after nearly drowning in a childhood accident. After initially being known for his lack of technique, Brooks quickly rose through the youth ranks. Brooks was expelled from the Australian Institute of Sport by Don Talbot for disciplinary reasons after the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. He later became a swimming commentator but was sacked in 1998 after a disciplinary incident. The peak of his swimming career came when he caught and passed the Soviet Union’s Sergey Kopliakov during the anchor leg to seal a narrow victory for Australia. This victory remains the only time that the United States did not win the event at Olympic level. Brooks won silver at his second Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984 Games, where he won silver in the 100 m freestyle relay and bronze for swimming the heats of the medley relays. He retired after being suspended for his drinking binge during the return trip to Australia in 1986. He was known for opining that like many Australian coaches, he’s not “pushy like many other Australian coaches and not in the politics of politics of the politics of Australia”.
At the age of 13, Brooks suffered a loss of confidence being champion in all four strokes for the previous four years. Within a year, Brooks’ physical growth began to catch up and he started to regain the dominant position in the sprint events. He won bronze in the 200m and 200m backstroke at the State Age Championships. Brooks attended Hale Park Primary School and trained at Beatty Park Pool. He also switched from sprint events to distance events and won bronze and bronze in the 100m and backstroke in the State State Championships. In 1980, he gained prominence by breaking the Australian record and being invited to a national team camp. He then qualified for the Australian team for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, defying political pressure to boycott the Games in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After just six weeks under Kevin Duff, Brooks came third in the 50 m breaststroke. After the 1980 Commonwealth Games, he switched to the tutelage of Kevin Duff for the next fifteen years. He went on to win silver at the 1984 Commonwealth Games and gold in the freestyle and freestyle relays at the 1986 Games in Edinburgh. Brooks also won silver and bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athens Games. He has been a member of the Australian Swimming Hall of Fame and the Australian Olympic Committee. Brooks is married to the former Australian swimmer and Olympic medallist Tracey Brooks.