Article by Melissa Yeo & Christine Lacy courtesy of The Australian.
Could it be the Rinehart touch?
Much the magnate mines for seems to be turning up gold this Olympics.
On day five, Australia’s medal tally was sitting at six gold, all turned up in swimming and rowing, two of four Olympic sports generously donated to by squillionaire Gina Rinehart herself.
All that’s left is to secure metal neckwear in the artistic swimming and volleyball for a quadrella for Australia’s richest woman.
It’s hard to miss her influence, too, with her ads for Roy Hill and Atlas, and featuring none other than singer-turned-Olympic hopeful Cody Simpson and Olympic great Dawn Fraser, running prominently during prime time on both Games broadcaster the Seven Network and Sky News.
While she joined the so-called PODS (Parents of Dolphin Swimmers) on the Sunshine Coast and was perched alongside the parents of recent bronze medallist Mack Horton, Cheryl and Andrew during the broadcast on Tuesday night, things were a little more low key for Rowing Australia chairman Rob Scott.
A little matter of running the nation’s largest conglomerate during a pandemic kept his celebrations more restrained, said to have tuned into the gold medal races on Wednesday from his home in Perth and at Wesfarmers HQ.
While it has been a while since his silver medal in the Coxless pairs at Atlanta in 1996, Scott is very much still involved with the sport, chairing the board of the national sporting body alongside the likes of former Anchorage Capital MD Merrick Howes and Andrew Michelmore, and helping to dole out the $3.5m in sponsorship dollars pledged by donors such as Rinehart.
But how’s this, the 51-year-old chief exec, who also married an Olympian in water polo star Liz Weekes, says there’s plenty that translates from the water to the board room, and not just the early morning wake-ups.
As the pandemic put many competitions on ice last year, Scott took to the organisation’s YouTube series “Get Cooked”, as hosted by former Olympian Sarah Cook, to describe how elite sport had set him up for success in business.
“Although we might not sweat as much and our pulse rate might not get as high, the world of business is super competitive and I love working with teams to do something special,” he said.
As it turns out, his ability to mix business with his sporting pursuits has been a long-running feature, his partner in the silver medal-winning race, Dave Weightman, first starting out as a colleague during his early days at Ernst & Young.
These days, Weightman is based out of Brisbane and a director in transport finance at Macquarie.