The men’s hockey team won its first Olympic medal, a bronze behind India and Pakistan, at Tokyo 1964. At Mexico City 1968, the team finished second to Pakistan after defeating India in the semi-final. Eric Pearce, from Western Australia, was a member of the teams to Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo and Mexico City. Eric was joined at Melbourne by brothers Mel (Melville) and Gordon, at Rome by Gordon and Julian, at Tokyo by Julian, and at Mexico City by Gordon and Julian. Another brother, Cec (Cecil), represented Australia, but not at the Olympics, during the 1950s.
At Rome, Eric scored five goals in a pool game against Japan. He carried the Australian flag at the closing ceremony at Mexico City. He was an inaugural inductee into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and, with Julian, the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame in 2008. Eric’s daughter, Colleen, was a member of Australia’s first women’s Olympic hockey team, at Los Angeles 1984.
Tokyo: Merv Crossman, Paul Dearing, Ray Evans, Brian Glencross, Robin Hodder, Don Martin, John McBryde, John McCormack, Don McWatters, Pat Nilan, Eric Pearce, Julian Pearce, Des Piper, Don Smart, Anthony Waters, Graham Wood
Mexico City: Arthur Busch, Paul Dearing, Ray Evans, Brian Glencross, Robert Haigh, Don Martin, James Mason, Don McWatters, Pat Nilan, Eric Pearce,
Gordon Pearce, Julian Pearce, Des Piper, Fred Quine, Ron Riley, Don Smart