Sport: Water Polo
Olympic History: 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio
Year Born: 1986
State Born: Brisbane, QLD
Bronwen Knox enters that rarefied air in Tokyo of being a four-time Olympian – she has bronze medals from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 to track her progress, plus the disappointment of bowing out to Hungary (13-11) in the quarter-finals of Rio in 2016.
Bronwen was in the stands at the Sydney 2000 Olympics with her family, who had travelled down to the Games to watch as many sports as they could. At that time Bronwen had only played a couple of games of Water Polo.
“I just remember never sitting down the whole game. I was just enthralled by the grace, the beauty, the speed, the agility and strength. And I said ‘That’s what I want to do’.” She was 14 years-old and went home and joined a club.
Bronwen made her Australian debut against New Zealand in a Test match in Canberra in 2005, and since then has amassed more than 380 caps for the Stingers.
A seasoned campaigner, Bronwen’s experience and intelligence of the game - and of that particular Olympic pressure - will be invaluable once again in Tokyo.
“There’s a special bond you form as a team, whether or not you’re friends, you have mutual respect for each other,” she said.
“You know everyone has gone through these gruelling training sessions to get there. You just look in your teammates’ eyes and you know that no-one can beat us – we are unbreakable.”
The centre-back almost considered ending her water polo career after she fractured her collarbone at the Rio test event in November, 2015 (where Australia won gold). However, she was determined to compete at her third games with her heart set on the elusive Olympic gold.
Knox led the women’s Water Polo side at her third Olympic campaign at the Rio 2016 Games, after winning bronze medals for Australia in 2008 and 2012.
The Aussies kicked started their Rio campaign with a strong, dominant 14-4 win over Russia. Their second pool match proved to be more of a challenge with the green and gold side narrowly going down to Italy 7-8 despite the scores being tied until the final seconds.
The Aussies then powered home to take a decisive 10-3 win over hosts Brazil in the final pool game, setting up a quarter final clash against Hungary. In a physical, tense and ultimately heartbreaking encounter the Australians lost in a penalty shootout after scores were level, 8-8, after four quarters, ending their 2016 Olympic campaign.
The Queenslander had a stellar Olympic debut in Beijing, scoring 12 goals to be the third leading goal scorer in the tournament. This haul included three goals in Australia’s thrilling 12-11 bronze medal victory over Hungary.
Out of the pool, Knox is passionate about furthering her education and has a number of qualifications under her belt, including a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, a Graduate Diploma in Public Health (Emergency and Disaster Management) and is currently studying a Bachelor of Law (Honours). After her sporting career, she hopes to work in the field of health promotion.