Proud Westmead Hospital mums send their sons to Tokyo Games

First-time Olympians Dominic Clarke and Nicholas Hough.

Two of Westmead Hospital’s health heroes – and proud mums – will be on the edge of their seats in the coming weeks when they watch their sons fulfil lifelong dreams – competing at the Olympics.

Lisa Clarke, a radiation oncology nurse at Westmead Hospital, will be watching as her son Dominic represents Australia in trampoline gymnastics.

“He is a double bronze world champion, and it will be his first Olympic Games. It is very exciting for us all,” Lisa said.

“Dominic started gymnastics when he was four years old, and switched from artistic to trampoline when he was seven.

Dominic Clarke in action.

“He wanted to do trampoline because he thought it was fun. We were happy to support his choice.

Dominic always says ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’.

Dominic has been training in a camp north of Tokyo, will compete on 31 July and will fly back to Australia a day after his event.

Lisa was recently surprised by her colleagues at work, who decorated a wall in radiation oncology with photos and flags to celebrate Dominic’s achievements.

“I did not expect to see this when I came to work. It was a lovely surprise,” Lisa said.

Proud mum Lisa Clarke at work.

Westmead Hospital senior clinical dietitian Suzanne Hough’s son Nicholas will also make his Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old Baulkham Hills resident will compete in the 110m hurdles.

His mum Suzanne said it has been a proud moment for their family following both previous successes and setbacks.

Suzanne Hough with her son, Nicholas

“Nicholas had qualified for Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, but sadly he was injured just a few months before,” Suzanne said.

“He was the Bronze medallist at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. He’s represented Australia at four world championships and two Commonwealth Games.”

Love for sports has always ran in the Hough family. Suzanne was a 200m runner and competed at the World University Games, and her husband Anthony was a decathlete.

This Olympic Games will be different for all athletes and their families due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be no spectators at the opening ceremony on Friday 23 July and the capacity of audience for sporting events has been reduced to 50 per cent.

Suzanne Hough said it will be the first time no family members will be attending Nicholas’ competition.

“We have made it a family tradition to plan our holidays around Nicholas’ tournaments.

“We travelled to places we would not have chosen otherwise, and it has been such an interesting journey,” Suzanne said.

Nicholas Hough completing a hurdle race.

Both Suzanne and Lisa’s families are planning to cheer for their sons while having parties over video calls with family members and friends.

“We’ll put our green and gold trackies, wave flags and have a good time watching our boys compete,” Suzanne said.

Good luck Dominic and Nicholas from all of us at Western Sydney Local Health District – you’ve already done your mums proud!