Simon Orchard made his second Olympic appearance at the Rio Olympic Games after securing at bronze medal in his debut performance at London 2012.
The Aussie Olympic campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand but despite starting strong, the side then suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Spain and Belgium. Determined to claim their third straight Olympic medal, the Aussies then secured a 2-1 win over Great Britain and a 9-0 victory over Brazil, setting themselves up for a quarter-final clash against the number 2 ranked side, the Netherlands. The Aussies quickly saw their hopes of a gold medal fade as the Dutch secured a 4-0 win, knocking the favourites out of the Olympic competition.
Orchard made a quick climb into the senior ranks, debuting in 2008 having not made a state team until the U/18s. Orchard was selected in the initial Beijing Olympic squad having only played 5 games for Australia but as a 21-year-old was one of the final Kookaburras cut from the team, an event that pushed him over the next four years to improve and make the first step in his dream of winning Olympic gold by making the final team for the London Olympics.
Orchard was a part of the golden year of 2010 for the Kookaburras that took out the World Cup, Champions Trophy and the Commonwealth Games, where he scored 4 goals in the final 3 games including a goal in the 8-0 victory in the gold medal match against India.
Orchard, along with the rest of the team, got a taste of what the London Games pitch would play like when they played, and won silver, at the Olympic test event. Unfortunately, the side was not able to climb to the top of the podium at London, finishing in third place.
After a turbulent 2015 season, the midfielder stepped away from hockey for a short period of time to overcome hit battle with anxiety. Blogging about his ‘anxious life’, the elite athlete shared his daily struggles in the hope to raise awareness and educate more people around mental health. Off the field, Orchard is a pretty handy golfer playing off scratch and also studies a Bachelor of Commerce with PR and journalism majors.