#AllezAUS 'Let's Go Australia'
Olympic History: Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020 (Silver)
Year Born: 1991
State Born: Perth
Aran Zalewski realised his Olympic dream when he was selected to make his debut at the Rio Games fresh off winning the 2016 Champion’s Trophy.
The Aussie’s Olympic campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand but despite starting strong, the side then suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Spain and Belgium. Determined to claim their third straight Olympic medal, the Aussies then secured a 2-1 win over Great Britain which saw Zalewski score in the 50th minute. The side then backed this up with a 9-0 victory over Brazil, setting themselves up for a quarter-final clash against the number 2 ranked side, the Netherlands. The Aussies quickly saw their hopes of a gold medal fade as the Dutch secured a 4-0 win, knocking the favourites out of the Olympic competition.
The midfielder made his international debut in 2011 against India in his home state of Western Australia. Zalewski scored on debut, in the 57th minute, a moment he still marks as a career highlight. Ahead of the London Games, Zalewski was selected in the men's national Olympic development squad
Nick-named ‘Moose’, many of his Australian teammates believe Zalewski bleaches his hair before every tournament, a rumour which he denies, saying his messy hair is a naturally occurring style.
In 2018 Aran won gold with the Kookaburras at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He then went on to co-captain the team to Champions Trophy gold in The Netherlands beating India (3-1 on penalties) in the final, scoring one of the goals in the penalty shoot-out
Zalewski became a two-time Olympian in Tokyo 2020, where he and the Kookaburras claimed the Silver medal after reaching the Gold Medal match for the first time since 2004. He would score in Australia’s opening game against Japan which they won 5-3, indicative of the rest of the Kookaburras group stage campaign, where they went undefeated.