Damien Hooper
Damien Hooper Jeff Gross - Getty Images

T-shirt sparks Olympic furore

A DALBY grandmother stood in her lounge room throwing punches at an imaginary foe as she willed her Olympian grandson through his opening bout at the London games.

Her pride had been bolstered by seeing the light heavyweight walk to the ring wearing the Aboriginal flag, the flag of his people.

But Damien Hooper's decision to break Australian Olympic team rules by wearing a black t-shirt featuring the Aboriginal flag instead of his official uniform has proved to be a regretful one.

His grandmother Lillian Weribone said she and other family members sat up until the early hours of yesterday morning to watch Hooper's win against American Marcus Browne.

She was thrilled to see him wearing the Aboriginal flag T-shirt.

"I was so proud of him," Ms Weribone said.

"We were throwing more punches than Damien did."

However, she became aware through media coverage her grandson had earned the ire of Olympic officials by wearing the t-shirt.

She said she struggled to see what he had done wrong.

"We are all very excited for him. That's why I hope nothing puts him off."

Despite his actions gaining support from Aboriginal boxer Anthony Mundine, Hooper reportedly apologised to the Australian team yesterday.


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