Buff Grant makes his big move
ATTEMPTING to put high-profile battles with addiction and mental health issues behind him, former swim star Grant Hackett has left the Glitter Strip to move closer to his children.
The triple-Olympic champion was yesterday snapped looking toned and healthy for the first time since his recent move to Melbourne, emerging from a workout at his local gym.
It’s understood Hackett relocated to Victoria from the Gold Coast late last month in an effort to be closer to his twins Jagger and Charlize — now aged seven — as he and ex-wife Candice Alley negotiate ongoing custody issues.
The couple, who married in 2007 and split five years later, currently share custody of their children but are believed to be engaged in an ongoing legal battle.
A close friend of Hackett confirmed the ex-swimmer was now determined to mend relationships with his family in the wake of what can only be described as a tumultuous two years.
“Grant’s determined to work on that relationship with his kids more than anything else in his life right now,” the confidant said.
“He’s facing a tough battle but he’s doing well.”
Now believed to be sober and fighting fit, Hackett has recently taken up a fulltime position with wealth management company Austock Life.
He is also regularly seen in the pool, although yesterday he dismissed talk that he was considering a competitive comeback as “impossible”.
“There’s no way I am swimming for any other reason than to stay fit,” laughed Hackett, who declined to discuss any matters relating to the custody of his twins.
“But I can say I am loving being in Melbourne again. I feel great and am really happy to be working and staying fit and healthy.”
The fallen Aussie swim champion was sensationally arrested in February after a violent dispute with his brother Craig at his parents’ home on the Gold Coast.
Soon after, Hackett relocated to the United States where he underwent a 30-day rehabilitation program in Malibu before an extended stay at the home of good friend and US swim superstar Michael Phelps.
One of the nation’s most decorated swimmers, Hackett will return to the Gold Coast early next year to take part in the Commonwealth Games torch relay.
However, he said he had not yet been approached to consult with the Australian swim team, which recently returned from one of its worst World Championship showings. Australia claimed just one gold medal — in the women’s 200m backstroke — in Budapest in July.
A lack of leadership and experienced mentorship were named by some swimmers as contributing factors to the poor performance.
“I stay in touch with Swimming Australia officials and I certainly like to be involved with the (Commonwealth Games) team but as yet I’ve not been contacted about being involved,” Hackett said.
Grant Hackett after a gym session. Picture: Rob Leeson Ex-wife Alley, and Hackett after the fight with his brother.