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Boxer a hit with 'Nan'

DAMIEN Hooper may be considered Australia’s best Olympic boxing medal hope since 1988 but he hasn’t forgotten where his gold medal dreams all started. Hooper took the chance during the opening ceremony in London to send a heart-felt message to the woman he credits for his success – his grandmother back home in Dalby.
DAMIEN Hooper may be considered Australia’s best Olympic boxing medal hope since 1988 but he hasn’t forgotten where his gold medal dreams all started. Hooper took the chance during the opening ceremony in London to send a heart-felt message to the woman he credits for his success – his grandmother back home in Dalby. GETTY IMAGES

LILLIAN Weribone has had a big influence on her grandson, and Australian Olympic boxer, Damien Hooper.

And she received a special reminder of the bond they share during the opening ceremony in London on Saturday morning.

As Hooper marched with the Australian team, he proudly displayed a hand-written sign which simply read: "I love you Nan".

Hooper speaks highly of his grandmother and has her last name inked onto his collarbone.

But Ms Weribone said the sign at the opening ceremony was his most heart-warming tribute.

"I cried my head off," she said.

"It was so lovely and we were so happy to see him and then he had the sign.

"It was unexpected. All the other family were blubbering as well."

Hooper will begin his Olympic campaign in the light-heavyweight division tomorrow morning (AEST).

Ms Weribone predicted a few sleepless nights ahead as the whole family stay up to watch his Olympic dream unfold.

"I will not go to sleep until I see him win that first fight," she said.

"He's my golden boy. Win or lose - he's my champion."

Topics:  boxing damien hooper london olympics


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