Event: Mixed Doubles
Olympic History: Beijing 2022
Highlights: Representing Australia at Beijing 2022, 1st - Beijing 2022 final qualification tournament (Dec 2021)
Coach: John Morris
Year Born: 1994
State Born: Victoria
A phone call in 2018 back set on Dean Hewitt on the path to becoming part of Australian Winter Olympic history.
He contacted fellow curling athlete Tahli Gill with a dream, saying "Look, do you want to make a run at these Olympics?"
"It's all paid off."
Dean and Tahli announced themselves as a world-class duo by finishing fourth out of 48 nations at the 2019 world curling championships, the best result by a mixed doubles team from Australia. They went on to win silver at both the 2019 New Zealand Winter Games and the Sutherland mixed doubles curling classic in Saskatoon, Canada.
The pandemic interrupted Dean's run of World Championship appearances in 2020, but he and Tahli returned for the world titles in May 2021. Later that year they beat Korea 6-5 to win the mixed doubles Olympic qualification event in the Netherlands, going undefeated at the tournament, to earn a spot on the Australian Team for Beijing 2022.
Dean and Tahli got off to a very unlucky start at the Olympics, as four of their first five round-robin matches ended in a one-point defeat.
Ahead of their last day of competition, still searching for a win at Beijing 2022, Tahli returned a series of positive COVID-19 tests which threatened to cut the duo's campaign short.
Further analysis of Tahli's health allowed for her to compete safely, which meant a frantic dash back to the competition ensued for the last two matches.
The pair played exceptionally well and closed out their campaign with back-to-back wins over Canada and Switzerland, the PyeongChang 2018 gold and silver medallists respectively.
The win against Canada carried more significance than most other matches, as they were directly competing against John Morris on the ice, who up until the Games started had been coaching Dean and Tahli to qualify for the Olympics.
Dean is part of a family rich in curling history. His father Steve was part of the Australian Team that competed at the Albertville 1992 Olympics when curling was still a demonstration sport. Full medal status wasn't achieved until the Nagano 1998 Games. When Dean played his first game at the Olympics, Steve was commentating the match for TV audiences around Australia.
Canadian-born Lynn Hewitt grew up around Curling and introduced her husband Steve to it. That's maybe one of the reasons Dean started young – aged five.
Dean and his mother were a formidable pairing representing Australia at both the 2017 and 2018 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships.
They finished in 13th place overall, missing out on advancing to the playoff stage with a 3-6 record. The highlight, however, was an 8-5 win over curling powerhouse, Canada, with Dean showing no sentimentality for his mother's native country.
Dean studied exercise physiology at Deakin University.