Joel Swift started playing water polo as a 10-year-old. In 2016 the centre forward made his Olympic debut with the Australian Sharks in Rio de Janeiro.
The Aussies lined up against the Brazilian hosts in their opening Game of the 2016 Olympics, but the roars from the home crowd proved to be too much as the boys narrowly went down 8-7. In their second pool game, the Aussies bounced back to secure a 9-9 draw with powerhouse Hungary, before they recorded an 8-6 win over Japan in game three.
Determined to try and secure Australia’s first ever men’s water polo medal, the Aussies then lined up with eventual Gold medallists Serbia and after a hard fought battle went down 10-8. Hungary defeating Brazil resulted in a fifth place finish in their pool for the green and gold, meaning the Aussies would not progress to the quarter-final stage.
The Western Australian athlete is a four-time National Water Polo League titleholder with his Perth based team, the Fremantle Mariners. In 2009 he helped Australia claim its first gold water polo medal at the World University Games in Serbia against the host nation.
Swift lived in Budapest for three years, playing water polo with some of the world’s best. He played in the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where Australia placed eighth in both.
Swift comes from a very athletic family; his mother Helen was a national ice skater, his father David played rugby league, and his grandfather competed in the 1956 Olympics in Sailing.