Consider, for a moment, a six year old climbing a three metre tower and walking out on a plank of wood over a swimming pool.
The local lad launches himself off the plank 'dressed to impress' his mates with a 'rip roaring bomb' into the local Cobram Memorial Pool. Nobody knew then that, twenty-one years later, Dean Pullar would be arriving back to that pool with an Olympic Bronze Medal around his neck.
Dean's story is an inspirational one, starting as a typical local country bloke mucking around in the local pool. It is somewhat synonymous to any young boy mucking around in the pool with their mates, but for Dean it was slightly different. With the influence of his mother, Wendy, Dean was inspired and motivated to learn diving and to be the best he could ever be at it. His father, Philip, later added to the Pullar camp by becoming the President of Diving Australia.
After lobbying by Wendy for the Cobram pool to install a proper diving board, and coping with the number of cold early morning trips from their farm to the pool, Dean trained, perfecting his diving skills and walking into the Scotch College Diving Team in 1986.
Unfortunately in 1989 Dean had an accident injuring his back. However, in 1990, he 'bounced back' to Captain the Scotch Diving Team and to team up with Clayton Smith and Mark Donaldson to seize back the APS Swimming and Diving Championship for the first time in seven years. Wendy just happened to be coaching the diving team at the time.
At swim Camp that year, Dean expressed his desire to continue his diving career to national level, which he would achieve in ten years time. On the way, Dean was to experience the ups and downs of competition, only to miss out on selection to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.
"I've always told Dean, 'Don't walk away until you're finished,'" says Wendy.
Dean's burning desire to reach his dream allowed him to win silver at Kuala Lumpur (1998) and the Fina World Cup (2000), as well as many gold medals in National Championships.
"Dean thrives on competition," says Wendy. "Other divers have the talent but he's got the tenacity as well. He seems to live for pressure."
During September this year Dean finally walked onto the three metre plank again. This time it was not to do a 'rip roaring bomb' for his mates, but to spin and twist in the Men's Three Metre Springboard competition.
Dean managed a fantastic fifth placing in the final at the Sydney Olympics, the second best result ever by an Australian man.
Dean then backed this event up in his performance, with his partner Robert Newbury, in the Men's Three Metre Synchronised Diving. The pair spun and ripped their way into the bronze medal position behind the Chinese and the Russians. This was the first male Australian Olympic medal won since 1924, when Dick Eve was successful at the Paris Olympics.
From a local bloke in the bush to Olympic medallist, Dean has experienced trials and tribulations, whilst maintaining his focus on his dream.
All this time training in Cobram, Melbourne, Scotch and Brisbane. Dean did come back to his old school and did show us all that commitment and persistence has its rewards. After all, the medal proves it.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)