HOOKER Steven < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA Australia   
Gender Men
Born 16 Jul 1982 in Melbourne, AUS
Height1.87 m
Weight 85 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Ekaterina [Katya] Kostetskaya, son Maxim
Residence Phoenix, AZ, USA
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Higher education Business - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology: Australia
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He began the sport at age 15.
Why this sport? He was influenced by Emma George, Australia's former world pole vault record holder, who trained at the same venue. "I basically started because of Emma. I saw her down here and it drew my attention to the event. It also seemed like a fair bit of fun so I asked my coach if I could have a go."
Name of coach Dan Pfaff
Coach from which country? United States
Coach from what year? 2013
International Debut
Year 2000
Competing for Australia
Location Santiago
General Interest
Nicknames Steve, Hobbsy, Hooksy (vis.org.au, 16 Jul 2007)
Hobbies Managing property, playing golf, reading, listening to music, skydiving. (athletics.com.au, 13 Aug 2011; vis.org.au, 16 Jul 2007)
Injuries He suffered an injury to his left knee that affected his performances in 2010 and 2011. (thestar.com.my, 01 Dec 2011)

When he won gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, he required a local anaesthetic to cope with his injured adductor [thigh muscle]. (stevehooker.com.au, 23 Aug 2009)

He sat out the 2002 season after suffering patella tendonopathy and a number of back problems. (american-trackandfield.com, 16 Jul 2007)
Sporting philosophy / motto "There's no such thing as failure. It's all part of the journey." (vis.org.au, 16 Jul 2007)
Awards and honours He was the team captain for the Australian athletics team at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (smh.com.au, 13 Aug 2012; athletics.com.au, 13 Aug 2011)

In 2009 and 2010 he was the only international athlete to hold all available titles at the same time. These included the Olympic, world and world indoor titles, as well as the Continental Cup and Commonwealth Games. He is the only Australian athlete in history to achieve this. (athletics.com.au, 13 Aug 2011)

He was named the 2005 City of Whitehorse Athlete of the Year after breaking the long standing Victorian pole vault record. (whitehorse.vic.gov, 28 Oct 2005)
Other sports He is an amateur sprinter and competed in the 2010 Stawell Gift race in Western Victoria, Australia. The race is run on grass over 120 metres up a slight gradient. (iaaf.org, 03 Aug 2010; stawellgift.com, 03 Aug 2010)
Famous relatives His mother Erica Hooker [nee Nixon] competed in the long jump at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. His father Bill was a four-time national title holder and represented Australia in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m and 4x400m relay. His wife Ekaterina Kostetskaya is a Russian international 800m runner. (perthnow.com.au, 04 Jul 2013; Athletics Australia, 05 Apr 2004)
Other information A NEW DIRECTION
After being knocked out of the final without clearing a height at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, he decided to split from long time coach Alex Parnov and move to Phoenix, AZ, United States with his wife Ekaterina Kostetskaya. He planned to reduce his training time for a year. (perthnow.com.au, 04 Jul 2013; heraldsun.com, 14 Oct 2012)

CONFIDENCE LOW LEADING INTO LONDON
In February 2012 he spoke about how he had lost his confidence, which he attributed in part to an ongoing knee problem that had troubled him for 18 months. He decided not to compete in domestic competition in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. "The confidence I require to stand at the end of the runway and then charge down, land my pole and soar almost six metres into the air has left me for the time being. As frustrating and puzzling as it might be, I'm certain it is only a temporary situation which I can resolve over the coming months." (couriermail.com.au, 09 Feb 2012)

BAT CAVE TRAINING
His sponsor and the West Australian government helped him to set up an indoor training facility at the old Midland Railway Yards in Perth which he refers to as his 'bat cave'. The shed has a 100m runway with a pit at each end. Platforms can be adjusted to alter jump conditions and a video-feedback system records his jumps and analyses the data. "We are away from everyone so there's no one watching. It's just my team of coaches, sports psychologist and biomechanist there and we can do really efficient high-quality sessions every day of the week.There are no interruptions from other people in other events, from the weather or restrictions to training hours." (heraldsun.com.au, 11 Apr 2012)