Mark Knowles has been announced as Australia’s flagbearer for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Kookaburras captain said “it means everything” to him.
“I will gladly carry this flag in front of you all in a couple of nights’ time and for the duration of the games.”
Mr Knowles has previously been a flagbearer at the closing of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Who is Mark Knowles?
Mark Knowles was born on March 10, 1984 in Rockhampton, Queensland.
He is a field hockey player who has played for the Australian men’s national field hockey team since 2004.
He also played professional hockey in the Netherlands in 2008 and 2011.
Mr Knowles became the captain of the Kookaburras in 2014.
Field hockey career
Mr Knowles grew up in the country where he played cricket, golf and hockey.
“I got to play against men from the age of 14, and I think that prepared me for how tough it would be,” Mr Knowles told The Australian.
At 20 years old, Mr Knowles made his international debut for the Kookaburras and won the Olympic gold medal when Australia defeated the Netherlands in Athens, 2004.
In an interview Mr Knowles said that this was the greatest achievement in his career.
“The Olympic Games gold in 2004 is what you dream of, as a kid what I wanted to do, but growing up in Rocky playing on the grass fields here you would never think you could do it,” Mr Knowles told The Morning Bulletin.
“So that, the first and only gold medal for men’s hockey, that’s by far as good as anything could get.”
In 2007, he became a regular in the team and won the World’s Best Young Player award.
He also played in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games where the Kookaburras won bronze in both years.
Mr Knowles was part of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup winning sides and was crowned hockey’s International Player of the Year in 2014 by the International Hockey Federation.
In his whole career, Mr Knowles has won three Commonwealth Games gold medals. He will retire after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Post retirement, Mr Knowles plans to continue his work at the Queensland Academy of Sport in personal development.
“I’ve never had school holidays with the family so I want to give back to them, and I’ll be working on my coaching business with Jamie Dwyer,” Mr Knowles told The Australian.
Mr Dwyer is Mr Knowles brother-in-law and fellow 2004 Olympic gold medallist.
Mr Knowles married Kelly Dwyer in 2010. They currently live in Perth with their two sons.
Mr Knowles parents, Ryan and Barbara Knowles have been a major form of support for the Kookaburras captain.
In an interview, Mr Knowles said that in the 2014 World Cup final, he could hear his dad “yelling over the top of 16,000 people”.