Mat Belcher | Australian Olympic Committee

Mathew's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Sailing
Event: 470 - Men
Olympic History: London 2012 (gold); Rio 2016 (silver)
Coach: Victor Kovalenko (2001 - current)
Institute/Academy: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) & Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)
Primary Training Base: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW
Year Born: 1982 (37)
State Born: QLD

About Mat

Living and growing up on the Gold Coast, Mat Belcher had always been surrounded by water. 

At six years old he started sailing in a 10-year-old wooden Sabot tied to the back of his parent’s boat, then as a nine year-old, Belcher competed in his first race at the Southport Yacht Club in 1989.

In his teens, and just after winning the 420 World Championships as a junior, Belcher was given a unique opportunity when John Coates invited him to carry a flag at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Belcher said it was in that moment, carrying the flag, his dream of becoming an Olympian was born.

Belcher combined with Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion, Malcolm Page in the 470-class boat to win the 2010 and 2011 World Championships and at London 2012, Belcher's Olympic dream was realised alongside Page.

The duo scored five victories out of the ten races prior to the medal race and, apart from one ninth, did not finish outside the top five. Their second-place finish in the medal race was more than enough to ensure that Belcher made a golden Olympic debut and Page went back to back.

After London, Page retired and Belcher teamed up with newcomer Will Ryan, but one key partnership was maintained – with Belcher's Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko known as the ‘Medal Maker’.

In their first World Championships in 2013, the new combination of Belcher and Ryan won the world title. Their successful partnership continued when at Rio 2016, the team won the silver medal.

Kovalenko said he knew he was guiding a very gifted sailor in Mat Belcher - and he wasn’t wrong, with Belcher collecting 12 global medals and 10 titles so far along with numerous awards and accolades such as World Sailor of the Year.

“He is calm, balanced and very good at making decisions under pressure. He could be Prime Minister,” Kovalenko said of Belcher.

Tokyo 2020 will be Belcher's third Olympic Games, and cuurrently the duo is on track for another Olympic success, winning the 2019 World Championship on the Olympic course in Japan.

Read More

Mat Belcher's Olympic moments

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Q&A

Why Sailing?
First Olympic memory?
Most inspiring Olympic performance?
If I could try any other Olympic Sport?
Most influencial person in my career & life?
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Career Highlights

Having two amazing children whilst competing between London 2012 to Rio 2016, Anton & Amelie
2012 London Olympic Champion & 2013 Rolex World Sailor of the Year
8 times World Champion 470M (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019)

Education

Primary: The Southport School, Gold Coast QLD
Secondary: The Southport School, Gold Coast QLD
Tertiary: Bachelor of Commerce - Bond University (2001-2009); Master of Project Management (2012- ) , Master of Valuation and Property Development (2012-)

Training

Coach: Victor Kovalenko (2001 - current)
Institute/Academy: Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) & Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS)
Primary Training Base: Middle Harbour Yacht Club, NSW
Secondary Training Base: Southport Yacht Club, QLD

Olympic Results

Rio 2016
London 2012