Grant Hackett's appearance on Sixty Minutes last night was a non-event. The Nine network tried in vain to win back support for him before he leaves for the Olympics as one of their sports commentators. There were no new revelations, just tears and denials. He reiterated that he did not harm his wife or his children and denied he had a drinking problem or anger issues. But the proof is in the photos, the darling of the swimming world is not the man we all thought him to be.
Candice Alley's father, Emilio Giannarelli is furious with Olympic team boss Nick Green's comment that he would be happy to appear with Hackett at the PM's Olympic dinner last Saturday night. Green said "I don't know him very well but he seems to be a genuine person and this is out of character. I will certainly extend my hand of friendship to him whenever I see him."
Mr Giannarelli said Mr Green should be ashamed because he doesn't know the circumstances. "I'm devastated by what Grant has put my daughter and grandchildren through, the pictures speak for themselves, I would like Nick Green to be in my shoes before he makes those sort of decisions."
Mr Green said that Grant Hackett is not a part of the Olympic team but is employed by the Nine Network and what they decide to do is their business. "I look at this from a personal point of view, Grant Hackett is part of the Olympic family and what he has done for sport is absolutely colossal" he said.
Hackett was one of 27 Olympic gold medalists who attended the $25,000-a-table fund raiser organized by the Victorian Olympic Council last weekend. The event generated more than $6 million and exceeded Australian Olympic Committee targets.