Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012
AFL legends Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton
Winning the gold medal at the 2010 World Championships
Kieran Perkins winning from lane 8 at the 1996 Atlanta Games
After losing his leg at the age of nine to cancer and then losing a lung at 11, Tristan Knowles has carved out a decorated wheelchair basketball career in Australia and abroad.
In 2004, Tristan was part of the team that won a silver medal at the Athens Games, three years after making his debut for the national team. In Beijing, the Rollers went one better to secure a gold medal after defeating Canada 72-60. The win was extra sweet as Australia was defeated by Canada in Athens. For Tristan, winning gold was an intense feeling of joy and satisfaction. He believes his aggression and work ethic have got him to where he is today.
Since the Beijing Games, Tristan has continued to be an important presence in the Australian team, helping the Rollers en route to their 2010 World Championships gold medal, rating as the highlight of his career. As the defending champions at the London Games, and after an unbeaten run to the final, the Rollers looked set to win gold. But it was not to be, with Australia losing to Canada 64-58 to win silver. Tristan scored 22 points during London.
As well as playing basketball, Tristan also has a degree in commerce from the University of Wollongong in which he received high results. He has also played basketball in the Spanish Wheelchair Basketball League and has considerable experience playing overseas, having also played in Italy and Turkey. Tristan also runs his own foundation, the Tristan Knowles Kids Cancer Foundation which raises money to support children with cancer, something which is particularly close to his heart.
Tristan would like to keep playing for a number of years yet and plans on finishing his career with no regrets. He attributes much of his success to senior players and coaches who have guided him throughout his career. Now as a senior player himself, Tristan hopes he can do the same for the younger generation in future competitions.