News Release

Todd Hodgetts Prepares for His Next Competitions


Mormon Newsroom Australia recently caught up with Todd Hodgetts, Gold Medalist in the F20 Shotput at the 2012 London Paralympics and Bronze Medalist in last year’s Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Todd is a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attends the Caulfield congregation in Melbourne.

Todd is headed to London this month to participate again in the IPC World Championships, with a stopover on the way for a week in Brisbane for a 'warmup practice' in the “Down Under” competition with the United States.

He is well-known to Australians in his sport, having received numerous awards. His interest in shot put began when he was ten, and his brother brought home a shot put from school and urged him to try it as a kind of a joke. He soon developed a liking for the sport and progressed quickly. It was no joke.

He set his first state record in 2004 when he was 15 and made the national team in 2005. In 2008 he was the Australian champion in the shot put. From 2009-2012 he won every event he competed in, including the 2012 Australian Athletics Championships, where he set a world record. This was followed by winning the gold medal in the 2012 London Paralympics in the Men’s F20 Shotput.

Todd was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the 2014 Australia Day Honours “For service to sport as a Gold Medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games”. In 2015 he received the Athletics Australia Male Para-Athlete of the Year award, and in 2016 the Victorian Institute of Sport Excellence Award.

He claimed the Gold again in 2015 in the Australian Uni Games and in the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar, where he again set a meet record with his throw of 15.83m. In February 2016 Todd threw a record 16.38m at the Briggs Athletics Classic in Hobart, breaking his world record of 16.24m for the Men’s F20 he had set in 2012.

Todd has been training at the prestigious Victorian Institute of Sport with new coach Scott Martin. 

Asked what his expectations are for the coming Championships in London, he replied, “I just want to do my best! I listen to my coach, keep focused every day, and give it my all”.

He added, “I love doing this! It’s been tough, but I’m not a quitter. I want to keep doing this until I’m forty! You’ve got to take every opportunity and enjoy what you’re doing. I want to go out with no regrets. When I face my Maker someday, I just want to be able to say, “I gave it 100%”.

Todd has an autism spectrum disorder, but dislikes the term 'disability.' “A better term would be ‘special needs’. We are not disabled; we just have special needs”, he says.

The newsroom would add, “He has unique and outstanding abilities, as well as an endearing personality. We wish Todd the best in his competitions this summer”.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.