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Mark Stockwell

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Mark Stockwell
Personal information
Full name Mark William Stockwell
National team Australia
Born (1963-07-05) 5 July 1963 (age 54)
Brisbane, Queensland
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 88 kg (194 lb)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
College team University of Florida

Mark William Stockwell (born 5 July 1963) is an Australian former competition swimmer and three-time Olympic medallist. Stockwell is a Queensland native who specialised in freestyle sprint events, and had a successful international swimming career during the mid-1980s, including the Olympics, Pan Pacific Championships, and Commonwealth Games. Following his retirement from competitive swimming, he has become a successful business executive and has been active in the administration of national sports organisations in Australia.

Early years and education[edit]

Stockwell was born and raised in Brisbane, Queensland,[1] the son of Bill and Necia Stockwell.[2] He is a 1980 graduate of St Laurence's College, a Roman Catholic boys' high school in Brisbane.[1] Stockwell was an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder from 1982 to 1984, and again in 1987.[3] He undertook commerce and engineering studies at the University of Queensland, and economics coursework at the Australian National University.[3] He also attended the University of Florida in the United States.[4]

Swimming career[edit]

Stockwell won three medals at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[5] In the men's 100-metre freestyle, Stockwell finished in 50.24 seconds and claimed a silver medal behind American swimmer Rowdy Gaines' Olympic record time of 49.80 seconds.[6] The outcome was controversial, however, because of a premature starter gun and a quick start by Gaines.[7] Gaines' coach, Richard Quick, knew of starter Frank Silvestri's tendency to fire the starter gun almost immediately when the competitors mounted the blocks.[8][9] Gaines gained about a metre's head start on the competition; he held Stockwell off to claim the gold medal.[6][8] Video of the event confirmed that Stockwell had not been set when the starter pulled the trigger.[10] Stockwell and the Australian Olympic Federation lodged an official protest, but it was denied.[7][9]

Stockwell, along with teammates Greg Fasala, Neil Brooks and Michael Delany, won another silver medal in the men's 4×100-metre freestyle relay, finishing in 3:19.68 – just 0.63 of a second behind the Americans' new world record of 3:19.05.[11] He also teamed up with Mark Kerry (backstroke), Peter Evans (breaststroke), and Glenn Buchanan (butterfly), swimming the freestyle anchor leg to win the bronze medal in the 4×100-metre medley relay (3:43.25) behind the Americans (3:39.30) and Canadians (3:43.25).[12] He and his freestyle relay teammates were dubbed the "Mean Machine" by the Australian media.[13] Stockwell was the only Australian athlete to win three Olympic medals in 1984.[14]

After the Olympics, Stockwell attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, United States, where he swam for coach Randy Reese's Florida Gators swimming and diving team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Southeastern Conference (SEC) competition during the 1984–85 school year.[15] He won three SEC titles (50- and 100-yard freestyle, 400-yard freestyle relay), and received All-American honours in the same three events.[15] While attending the university, he dated his future wife, Tracy Caulkins, who was also a Florida Gators swimmer. He and Caulkins had met in the warm-up pool at the 1984 Olympics.[14]

He followed his Olympic performance with a bronze medal for his third-place finish in the 50-metre freestyle (23.44), and a fourth in the 100-metre freestyle (51.64) at the 1985 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.[16] By the time the 1986 Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh, Stockwell had fallen back from his Olympic times in Los Angeles. He claimed a gold medal with his Australian teammates Fasala, Matthew Renshaw and Neil Brooks in the 4×100-metre relay (3:21.58), and finished seventh in the 100-metre freestyle (51.61).[17] He retired from competitive swimming in 1986.[18] In December 1989, The Age newspaper recognized Stockwell as one of the three best Australian swimmers of the 1980s.[19]

Life after swimming[edit]

Stockwell married American competition swimmer Tracy Caulkins, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee in 1991.[20] He lives in Brisbane, with his wife and their five children.[21] He received an Australian Sports Medal for his swimming achievements in 2000.[22] Stockwell was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame in 2009.[13]

He is the managing director of the family-owned property development, investment and management firm, W. A. Stockwell Pty Ltd, based in Queensland. He and his brother-in-law Mike Kelso are co-owners of the company that was established as a construction firm by his parents more than sixty years ago. The firm has had successful development ventures in residential, leisure, retail, commercial and industrial property, and has undertaken a phased AU$350 million residential development in Brisbane's West End. He and his family members were included among the 14 new entries on the 2014 "Rich List," with a combined estimated net worth of AU$101 million.[2]

He serves on the board of directors of the Australian Sports Commission, and is the deputy chairman of the board.[3] He is also the chairman of the Australian Sports Foundation, a non-profit company that raises money for Australian sport projects.[23] He previously served as the chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, having led the committee through its successful application process, but was sacked by Campbell Newman.[2] He is the chairman of Trade and Investment Queensland, the Queensland state government's foreign investment and export program, and a past president of the Queensland division of the Property Council of Australia, and previously served on its national board.[3]

Stockwell is the past chairman and a trustee of the St Laurence's Old Boys' Foundation, which funds need-based scholarships for boys whose families cannot otherwise afford the tuition and fees at his high school, St Laurence's College.[23] He is a Trustee of the Stockwell Foundation, a charitable organisation established by him and his wife to benefit at-risk children.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TIQ Board announced," Export Council of Australia (22 October 2013). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Daryl Passmore, "Queensland's Top 150 Rich List: Former Olympic swimmer Mark Stockwell has a winning approach," The Courier Mail (16 September 2014). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d Australian Institute of Sport, The Board. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  4. ^ Mike Bianchi, "UF swimmer anxious to test NCAA waters," The Gainesville Sun, p. 1B (14 January 1985). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  5. ^, Olympic Sports, Athletes, Mark Stockwell. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Men's 100 metres Freestyle Final. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b Frank Litsky, "5 More Golds Continue American Dominance," The New York Times (1 August 1984). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b Rick Feneley, "From the pool into deep water," Sydney Morning Herald (27 July 2013). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b Jeff Commings, "Whose Start Drew Controversy And Eventual Gold At the 1984 Olympics?," Swimming World Magazine (31 July 2014). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  10. ^ John Lohn, Historical Dictionary of Competitive Swimming, Scarecrow Press, Inc., Lanham, Maryland, p. 45 (2010). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  11. ^, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Men's 4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay Final. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  12. ^, Olympic Sports, Swimming at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games, Men's 4 x 100 metres Medley Relay Final. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  13. ^ a b, Queensland Sport Hall of Fame, Mr Mark Stockwell. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  14. ^ a b Australian Olympic Committee, Mark Stockwell Athlete Biography. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  15. ^ a b Florida Swimming & Diving 2014–15 Media Supplement Archived 18 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine., University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 79, 83, 87, 102 (2014). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  16. ^, Pan Pacific Swimming Championships. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  17. ^ Commonwealth Games Federation, Athletes, Mark William Stockwell. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  18. ^ Mark Ludlow, "Going for gold after the game is over," The Age (15 January 2015). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  19. ^ "The top 5 sports stars of the '80s," The Age, p. 30 (11 December 1989). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  20. ^ Jill Lieber, "Love Games: Athletes find rewards better than gold," USA Today (26 August 2004). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  21. ^ Sam Hovland, "Caulkins still holding down records: Former Florida swimmer held five world, 63 American marks," (26 March 2012). Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  22. ^ It's An Honour, Stockwell, Mark William. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  23. ^ a b c Australian Sports Foundation, Our Board. Retrieved 11 July 2015.


  • Andrews, Malcolm, Australia at the Olympic Games, Australian Broadcasting Corporation Books, Sydney, New South Wales, p. 409 (2000). ISBN 0-7333-0884-8.

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