Athens 2004, Beijing 2008
David Hall, Gustavo Knerton
Fourth at 2004 World Team Cup, second at 2002 Junior World Team Cup
When he was just 13, Ben Weekes was watching television when he started to feel pins and needles through his spine. It turned out a blood clot had developed in his spine, leading to Ben becoming a paraplegic.
Ben became involved in wheelchair sport and has since never looked back. He developed a particular liking to wheelchair tennis after watching fellow Australian David Hall win gold at Sydney 2000. He struggled adapting to the sport at first but quickly managed to improve his skills, especially warming to the mental and tactical aspects of the game.
Ben is the premier wheelchair tennis player in Australia. His proudest moment was representing his country at the Athens 2004 Games, where he won his first round singles match before going down at the next stage. The same year, he finished fourth at the World Team Cup in Italy and in 2002 came second at the Junior World Team Cup.
He represented Australia at Beijing 2008, prior to recording a number of impressive tournament results. In a breakout 2009 season, Ben won the singles tournaments at the New Zealand Open and Melbourne Open, before proving more than competitive at a host of overseas events. His good form has continued in the lead up to London 2012. Ben was a finalist at the 2011 South African Open, suggesting he is on track to be right in the thick of it at the Paralympic Games.
Aside from his status as an accomplished tennis player, Ben is a trained pianist and composer. He has performed at the Sydney Opera House and the BarMe Cabaret Bar, along with making several recordings. He particularly loves playing and writing his own music. A fit and active individual, the Sydney resident also enjoys playing basketball and swimming.
While he is as competitive as they come on the wheelchair tennis court, Ben has a very relaxed and friendly demeanour. The only sporty member of his family of four boys, including his identical twin brother, Ben is looking to do his family and country in his future sporting career.