Further Personal Information
||Sydney, NSW, AUS
||Athlete, Business Owner
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He started swimming around the age of five. He was a Queensland state junior backstroke champion in his younger years before turning to butterfly.
|Why this sport?
||As a five year old, he witnessed Jon Sieben's wins in the 200m butterfly and the 4x100m freestyle at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He was inspired and wanted to swim. When he was 13, he and his brother Graeme left Mackay, accepting a scholarship from Brisbane's Redcliffe swimming club because he wanted to further his career. After a while his brother left and went back to live with their mother, while Geoff stayed and trained with Ken Wood.
|Club / Team
||SOPAC and New South Wales Institute of Sport [NSWIS]: Redcliffe, QLD, AUS
|Name of coach
|Coach from which country?
|Coach from what year?
||World Short Course Championships
||Skippy (FINA Aquatics World Magazine, 30 Apr 2011)
||Property, going to the beach and hanging out with friends. (AOC, 26 Apr 2004)
|Most influential person in career
||His wife Sara. (nswis.com.au, 14 Nov 2011)
|Hero / Idol
||Swedish swimmers Therese Alshammar and Johan Walberg. (Swimming Australia, 14 Jul 2010)
|Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
||He has a superstition of wearing a new pair of goggles to every major competition. (Australian Swimming, 21 Apr 2004)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"I have no-one else to please but myself, so that helps keep the pressure off." (Australian Swimming, 15 Jul 2011; Fitness magazine, 01 Mar 1999)
|Awards and honours
||He was nominated for the NSW Institute of Sport Male Athlete of the Year and the Career Development Award in 2011. (wentworth-courier.whereilive.com.au, 21 Nov 2011)
He was named Butterfly Swimmer of the Year in 2001 and 2002. (AOC, 26 Apr 2004)
||His nephew Chris McQueen plays rugby league for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. (Swimming Australia, 14 Jul 2010)
In 2011 he married his long-time partner, Sara Hills. The ceremony took place on the Indonesian island of Bali. He credits Hills, whom he met in 2007, and life coach Keith Saggers with helping him turn around his life following his mental health and drug and alcohol issues following his 2004 retirement. His wife is due to give birth to their first baby in early 2012. (heraldsun.com.au, 16 May 2011; wentworth-courier.whereilive.com.au, 21 Nov 2011)
RETIREMENT AND COMEBACK
He retired at age 26 and subsequently battled weight gain, admitting his diet consisted of "alcohol and pizza". He had to lose more than 30kg after returning from retirement in 2007, and in 2008 at age 29 he won a scholarship with the New South Wales Institute of Sport [NSWIS] and began to train under Australian swimming coach Grant Stoelwinder. He moved to Sydney to focus on swimming and on his media career. As part of his comeback he sought the help and advice of Beyond NLP, an institution specialising in hypnotherapy and improving self-confidence. In his 2011 book 'Be The Best' he admitted he had used recreational drugs during his retirement and had also battled depression and thoughts of suicide. "My life from about 2005 to 2007, I experimented with many different things. I guess that is a story in my past." (geoffhuegill.com, 13 Jul 2010; icmi.com.au, 13 Jul 2010; theage.com, 13 Jul 2010; (beyondnlp.com, 13 Jul 2010; dnaindia.com, 25 Sep 2011)
He is an athlete-entrepreneur and runs his company with a co-partner called OPS Consulting, specialising in 'holistic life management and a life balance programme'. His clients include the Commonwealth Bank and Fitness First. (geoffhuegill.com, 13 Jul 2010; grandslamint.com, 13 Jul 2010)
WATER SAFETY, DEPRESSION AMBASSADOR
He is an ambassador for the Australian Council for the Teaching of Swimming and Water Safety [AUSTSWIM], and for the Black Dog Institute's Exercise Your Mood Campaign which promotes the benefits of regular exercise in tackling depression. He also acts as an ambassador for the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation, MS Queensland, the Sir David Martin Foundation and Variety The Childrens Charity. (heraldsun.com.au, 16 May 2011; geoffhuegill.com, 02 Nov 2011)