Brent Gibson

1979 to 1983

Brent was an inspirational student, sportsman and character.  He attended College from 1979 to 1983. Brent was the first college student to require a wheelchair and with hard work from his family all the classroom blocks were altered to ensure wheelchair access.  Brent was a full-on guy and never shied away from being involved with everything that was on offer.

His passion for getting up early and going to the town pools for swimming training led Brent to become an Olympian. He won gold in the 200m Freestyle at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and claimed the world record for the event. He also won 2 bronze medals. He travelled extensively representing NZ in swimming events throughout Asia, Europe and the States. He also received a National University Blue award for his efforts in swimming, the first to be awarded to a paraplegic. Matamata was very proud of his successes and he regularly featured in the news locally and nationally.

Brent attended Waikato University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Accounting. In 1989 he received a summer swimming scholarship at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. Brent stayed in California and moved to San Diego where he worked in various finance roles while continuing his swimming at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). In 1992 Brent represented the USA in the Barcelona Olympics. He made the final of the 200m freestyle but was unplaced.

After 15 years living in California Brent made the move to Melbourne Australia where he now resides and works as a General Manager for a property development company in Health Infrastructure.

Brent's Dad Brian also attended Matamata College and still lives in Matamata.  Sister Kay lives and works in Brisbane.