Tycoon slaps up $100,000 for Olympians flights

Bevan Slattery
Bevan Slattery Clare Smith | Lucid Photography

ALL the training, dieting and mental attitude for winning an Olympic gold medal can come crashing down if the slightest thing goes wrong.

The Australian Swimming team, a key part of their country's medal hopes, were stuck at their training came in Auburn, Alabama, just days out from Rio, unsure of how to fund their Olympic dream.

While the team could fly to Rio, the team officials decided a charter flight with a row of seats to themselves was the best option as the lack of room on overnight commercial flights would leave the team exhausted upon arrival.

Up stepped former Rockhampton businessman Bevan Slattery, who through his love of swimming, funded $100,000 of the $300,000 required to fly the 37 swimmers and 23 staff members to Rio.

Mr Slattery said a gold medal could come down to doing the one percenters right. He hoped this was one of them.

"I see a really united swimming team and thought this was the best thing I could do for them," Mr Slattery told the Morning Bulletin just prior before boarding a flight to Rio himself.

"We are involved in our local club in Brisbane and see first-hand the effort these young Australians put into the sport. We just want to show our support.

"Looking at the amount of time to get from Alabama to Rio, it is not easy.

"The direct flights are designed to reduce jet lag. Basically it puts them in the peak mental and physical condition."

Not only does the direct flight, labelled 'Slattery Air', saves time (six hours minimum), it allows the team to land in Rio in the morning - the time that best suits the team.

It allows them to wear compression clothing, humidifying masks and room to have a flight in comfort.

Impressively, the funds came from his personal account.

Even more impressively, the funds came from a man who nearly lost it all.

During a period in 2008, the Dow Jones was in the middle of its worst fall in seven decades, Mr Slattery had just lost the funding for a $200 million undersea cable project from Sydney to Guam.

He said that moment taught him to keep on pushing if it is something you believe in.

Such is the man, when asked about why he chose to help the Swim team, "the right thing to do" was mumbled.

For those outside of Rockhampton, he is just another one in a million. But those in the region know all too well how far his generosity and humble nature stretches.

It is clear, a little bit of Slattery will get you anywhere.

In 2014, he took North Rockhampton State High School students to the Google Headquarters - giving them a taste of innovation.

Some of Slattery's good deeds

In 2013, he developed the Code-2-Concept program, teaching students how to read and write computer code.

He is part of the Rocky Telco company striving for faster internet for Rockhampton.

Post Cyclone Marcia in 2015, he donated 40 two kiloWatt generators to residents who needed power for medical reasons.

Provided 128 phone charging stations in the Stocklands Shopping Centre.

Topics:  australian swimming team bevan slattery editors picks rio2016

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