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17364-Todd Hodgetts photo

Todd Hodgetts

Athletics
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Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Intellectual impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
F20

Further personal information

Residence
Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Massage Therapy - Victoria University: Melbourne, VIC, AUS

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up shot put as a child at his family home, and began competing at age 10 in Launceston, TAS, Australia.
Why this sport?
He was encouraged to take up the sport by his brother, who had brought a shot put home. "My brother stole a shot put from school as a joke. The teachers were after the shot put, so my brother gave it to me at the bus stop. I took it home and because we had a 10-acre farm there was a lot of land and I chucked it on there. I loved it."
Club / Team
Ringwood Athletics Club: Melbourne, VIC, AUS
Name of coach
Scott Martin

General interest

Nicknames
Hulkster, The Hulk. "I was in my 20s when that happened and I was dropping weights and scaring the ladies in the gym. This guy called Big Dave said, 'We should call you The Hulk, like in wrestling,' and it stuck since then. He [US wrestler Hulk Hogan] used to take his shirt off and stuff and I used to do that in the gym when people annoyed me or thought they were stronger than me, I'd bite back and I am a fighter." (paralympic.org, 28 Oct 2020; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a gold medal in the men's F20 shot put at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org.au, 30 Sep 2019)
Most influential person in career
Australian boxer Daniel Geale. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
Australian weightlifter Dean Lukin. (paralympic.org.au, 30 Sep 2019; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Injuries
He injured both his shoulder and elbow after the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. He underwent surgery on his elbow in early 2013 and was unable to throw for almost a year. (examiner.com.au, 23 Jul 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The first muscle to go is your head. If you get that right, thinking straight, and keeping all the negativity out of it, you can go until you're 40 years of age." (Victorian Institute of Sport Facebook page, 09 Aug 2017)
Awards and honours
In 2016 he received the Personal Excellence Award at the Victorian Institute of Sport Award of Excellence ceremony in Australia. (Victorian Institute of Sport Facebook page, 30 Nov 2016)

He was named 2015 Male Para Athlete of the Year by Athletics Australia. (abc.net.au, 13 Apr 2016)

He received the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in the 2014 Australia Day Honours for service to sport as a gold medallist at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. (paralympic.org.au, 26 Jan 2014)
Other sports
He has competed in weightlifting at state level in Australia. (paralympic.org.au, 01 Jan 2013)
Ambitions
To win a gold medal at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Victorian Institute of Sport Facebook page, 09 Aug 2017)
Impairment
He was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age eight. "When I was born I had the cord around my neck and that created issues so I nearly died at birth. It starved my oxygen to the brain. [When I first realised I was different] was probably when the doctor told me that I was different. I didn't know that, I just thought I had ADD but no, I had something more extreme. I was eight years of age. It wasn't great. Then when I was 16 I said to the doctor 'Am I cured yet?' because I had more tests when I was 16. He just laughed. I didn't really want this. But I've got a proper family. They always stick together, they've got your back and proper families are like that." (paralympic.org, 28 Oct 2020; paralympic.org.au, 21 Jun 2012; news-nz.churchofjesuschrist.org, 11 May 2012)
Other information
PSYCHOLOGIST
He says he has worked with a sport psychologist to navigate his impairment. "[The psychologist] said, 'You've got to work on your strengths.' So, we're not looking at what I was born with, we're looking forward to the future. I'm still getting knockbacks now [speaking in 2020] with the COVID-19 situation and I am grateful to have him on board at this stage. He has answered all my questions about mental health, 'Why am I so honest? Why do I react like this? What's the studies behind autism and intellectual impairment?' He's very excellent." (paralympic.org, 28 Oct 2020)

INSPIRATION
He says he draws inspiration from watching sports movies. "Things happen for a reason if you work hard. I had a really nasty teacher. If I never picked up a shot put and she basically said I couldn't throw it right. She was probably right but I decided to train. All the Rocky movies and all the sport movies, it was bit like that. When I picked up a shot put in my hand, it was like a sword. I'm here to protect people and save the world type of thing. I wasn't very good, but I started to throw in my back yard and thought 'this is actually awesome! I'm good at something!' I was sick of people telling me I couldn't do things." (paralympic.org, 28 Oct 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F20 Final Round 2012-09-07 1
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F20 Final 1 2013-07-22 3
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F20 Final 1 2015-10-22 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F20 Final Round 2016-09-10 3
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's Shot Put F20 Final 1 2017-07-15 3