Nathan Deakes is a triple Olympian and made his Olympic debut at the Sydney 2000 Games. He had two creditable finishes in the walking events, eighth in the 20km walk and sixth in the 50km event. Two walking gold medals at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games set Deakes up for a good showing at Athens 2004 where he won the bronze medal in the 20km walk, behind the gold medallist, Ivan Brugnetti of Italy but in front of the Atlanta 1996 champion, Jefferson Perez of Ecuador.
Deakes’ bronze medal was Australia’s first in Olympic walking since Noel Freeman’s silver in the same event at Rome 1960. In the 50 kilometre walk at Athens, Deakes was disqualified when near the head of the field and just adrift of the eventual winner Robert Korzeniowski of Poland. Deakes again won the walking double at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and became the 2007 World Champion in the 50 kilometres walk before injury precluded him competing at Beijing 2008.
He returned to contest the 50km event at the London 2012 Games where he finished 22nd.