Kieren Perkins

Last updated

Kieren Perkins
Personal information
Full name Kieren John Perkins
National teamFlag of Australia.svg  Australia
Born (1973-08-14) 14 August 1973 (age 44)
Brisbane, Queensland
Height 194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 90 kg (198 lb)
Sport
Sport Swimming
Strokes Freestyle
Club Commercial Swimming Club

Kieren John Perkins, OAM (born 14 August 1973) is an Australian former competition swimmer, four-time Olympic medalist and former world record-holder in three events. One of the world's best-ever long-distance swimmers, he won two Olympic gold medals in 1992 and 1996 in the 1500-metre freestyle, and a silver medal in 2000.

Swimming (sport) water-based sport

Swimming is an individual or team sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke. The order for a medley relay is: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Swimming each stroke requires a set of specific techniques; in competition, there are distinct regulations concerning the acceptable form for each individual stroke. There are also regulations on what types of swimsuits, caps, jewelry and injury tape that are allowed at competitions. Although it is possible for competitive swimmers to incur several injuries from the sport, such as tendinitis in the shoulders or knees, there are also multiple health benefits associated with the sport.

1992 Summer Olympics Games of the XXV Olympiad, held in Barcelona in 1992

The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from July 25 to August 9, 1992.

1996 Summer Olympics Games of the XXVI Olympiad, in Atlanta

The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, commonly known as Atlanta 1996, and also referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, were an international multi-sport event that was held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. These Games, which were the fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, marked the century of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. They were also the first since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years.

Contents

Early life

Perkins was born in Brisbane, Queensland. He attended Indooroopilly State Primary School and graduated from Brisbane Boys' College in the inner city suburb of Toowong.

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.5 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the historic European settlement and is situated inside a peninsula of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs)—most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is "Brisbanite".

Brisbane Boys College

Brisbane Boys' College (BBC) is an independent, Presbyterian and Uniting Church, day and boarding school for boys, located in Toowong, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

He began swimming regularly at age eight as part of his rehabilitation from a serious leg injury incurred after running through a plate glass window. At age 13 his potential became obvious, and with coach John Carew guiding him he won his first medal at the Australian Championships in Melbourne in 1989, before going on to claim the silver medal in the 1500 metre freestyle at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand. It was here that Perkins emerged as a future star by finishing behind fellow Queenslander Glen Housman. Both Houseman (14:55.25) and Perkins (14:58.08) were the only swimmers to break 15 minutes. Fellow Australian Michael McKenzie completed the Green and Gold medal trifecta by claiming the Bronze with a time of 15:09.25. It was the first time Perkins had recorded a sub-fifteen-minute 1500 metres.

Freestyle swimming category of swimming competition

Freestyle is a category of swimming competition, defined by the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which competitors are subject to few limited restrictions on their swimming stroke. Freestyle races are the most common of all swimming competitions, with distances beginning with 50 meters and reaching 1500 meters, also known as the mile. The term 'freestyle stroke' is sometimes used as a synonym for 'front crawl', as front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke. It is now the most common stroke used in freestyle competitions.

1990 Commonwealth Games 14th edition of the Commonwealth Games

The 1990 Commonwealth Games were held in Auckland, New Zealand from 24 January – 3 February 1990. It was the 14th Commonwealth Games, and part of New Zealand's 1990 sesquicentennial celebrations. Participants competed in ten sports: athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, judo, lawn bowls, shooting and weightlifting. The Triathlon was a demonstration event.

Glen Clifford Housman is an Australian former long-distance freestyle swimmer of the 1980s and 1990s, who won the silver medal in the 1500-metre freestyle, swimming at the 1992 Summer Olympics. His career was overshadowed by fellow Australian Kieren Perkins, and was also marred by illness.

Career

After the Commonwealth Games, Perkins' career took off. He was clear favourite to win the 1500-metre freestyle at the 1991 World Aquatics Championships in Perth, but was beaten in the final by just 0.22 seconds by German Jörg Hoffmann who set a new World Record time.

These are the results of the swimming competition at the 1991 World Aquatics Championships.

Jörg Hoffmann (swimmer) East German freestyle swimmer

Jörg Hoffmann is a former freestyle swimmer from Germany, who won the bronze medal in the 1500 m freestyle at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He competed in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in Seoul 1988 as a member of the East German team.

By 1992 Perkins dominated the 1500m event, lowering Hoffmann's world record with a time of 14:48.40 in Sydney. He dominated the men's 1500-metre freestyle at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, lowering his record by 5 seconds to 14:43.48 – Housman claimed the silver with Hoffman relegated to the bronze. Perkins had also set a new world record in the 400 metre freestyle, but this was broken by Russia's Yevgeny Sadovyi in Barcelona.

The men's 1500 metre freestyle event at the 1992 Summer Olympics took place between 30–31 July at the Piscines Bernat Picornell in Barcelona, Spain.

Yevgeny Sadovyi swimmer

Yevgeny Viktorovich Sadovyi is a retired Russian freestyle swimmer who won three gold medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics at Barcelona and was subsequently chosen by Swimming World magazine as the Male World Swimmer of the Year.

At the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Perkins broke the 800- and 1500-metre freestyle world records (lowering his 1500 mark to 14:41.66). The 800-metre record was broken while swimming the 1500-metre event, meaning he broke two records in one race (the 800-metre was not actually an event at the games). His 400-metre world record, set at the World Swimming Championships in Rome just weeks later, stood until it was broken by fellow Australian Ian Thorpe in 1999, and the 800- and 1500-metre records until 2001 when broken by Thorpe and Grant Hackett respectively. His performances in that year earned him the Male World Swimmer of the Year award from Swimming World magazine.

1994 Commonwealth Games 15th edition of the Commonwealth Games

The 1994 Commonwealth Games were held in Victoria, in the province of British Columbia in Canada, from 18 to 28 August 1994.

Ian Thorpe Australian swimmer

Ian James Thorpe, is a retired Australian swimmer who specialised in freestyle, but also competed in backstroke and the individual medley. He has won five Olympic gold medals, the most won by any Australian. With three gold and two silver medals, Thorpe was the most successful athlete at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Grant Hackett Australian swimmer

Grant George Hackett OAM is an Australian swimmer, most famous for winning the men's 1500 metres freestyle race at both the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. This achievement has led him to be regarded as one of the greatest distance swimmers in history. He also collected a gold medal in Sydney for swimming in the heats of the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay. He is well regarded for his versatility, and has held the long course world record in the 200 m, 800 m, and 1500 m freestyle. He has dominated the 1500 m event for a decade, being undefeated in the event in finals from 1996 until the 2007 World Aquatics Championships. In total, he has won 10 long-course world championship gold medals.

At the time of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Perkins was out of form and long-time Australian rival Daniel Kowalski was regarded as the favourite. In fact he almost failed to make the Australian team, such was his poor form. He qualified for the 1500-metre freestyle final by a mere 0.24 seconds to be the slowest of the top 8 qualifiers, and it was later revealed that before the race he felt unwell and considered not swimming. From lane eight, Perkins dominated the race being the only swimmer to go under 15 minutes (14:56.40), again relegating Kowalski, who had to fight all the way and just held off Great Britain's Graeme Smith. Despite being the world record holder, Perkins failed to qualify for the 400-metre freestyle in April, finishing third at the Australian Championships.

After his Atlanta triumph, some commentators were surprised when Perkins decided to continue competing, particularly as the rise of Grant Hackett, another Australian distance swimmer, made it seem unlikely that Perkins could win again. However, the lure of a home Olympics was too much for Perkins. Hackett completed his rise to the top by beating Perkins, who took the silver medal in a respectable time of under 15 minutes.

Controversy

During the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, Perkins was nearly sent home in disgrace after he fired an air pistol inside the athletes' village. The head coach at the time wanted to send him home, but Australian team boss Arthur Tunstall intervened and he was subsequently allowed to stay.[ citation needed ]

In 2004, Perkins courted controversy when he stated that he felt the public's pressure for Craig Stevens to give up his spot in order to reinstate defending 400-metre champion Ian Thorpe to the event after being disqualified was "disgusting". [1]

Recognition

In the Australia Day Honours of 1992, Perkins was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Also named an Australian Living Treasure, he was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002. [2] In 2009 Perkins was inducted into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. [3] Also in 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, Kieren Perkins was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for his role as a "sports legend". [4]

Post swim career

Perkins has always presented a clean-cut, well-spoken image to the public. Since his retirement, he has occasionally worked in the broadcast media and is currently head of business development and acquisitions at NAB Private Wealth. [5] He is a current board member of Swimming Australia.

Personal life

Perkins married in 1997 and has three children, Harry, Georgia and Charlie, with wife Symantha. The couple received condolences from a number of people in sports broadcasting after suffering "three miscarriages before having their third child [Charlie], and Symantha underwent radical surgery [in 2007] to combat severe migraines." Symantha has since recovered her health. [6]

In June 2012 Perkins announced he and Symantha had separated. [7] In a May 2014 episode of Australian Story , Perkins announced he would marry partner Karen Davis in Europe in 2014. [8] They married in Positano, Italy in October 2014. [9]

See also

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References

  1. Perkins 'disgusted' at calls for Stevens to step-down
  2. "Kieran Perkins OAM". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
  3. "Mr Kieren Perkins OAM". Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. qsport.org.au. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  4. Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND'S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  5. "Kieren Perkins talks teams". sunshinecoastdaily.com.au. Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  6. Fydler, Rose (3 March 2008), "The Love Jackpot", New Idea
  7. Sharp, Annette (2012-06-02). "How the Perkins' marriage hit troubled waters". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  8. Murray, Kirstin (26 May 2014). "Coming up for air". ABC News . Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  9. "Kieren Perkins marries in Italy". Easy Weddings. Easy Weddings. Retrieved 2017-02-16.

Further reading

Records
Preceded by
Vladimir Salnikov
Men's 800 metres freestyle
world record holder (long course)

5 August 1991 – 26 March 2001
Succeeded by
Ian Thorpe
Preceded by
Uwe Dassler
Men's 400 metres freestyle
world record holder (long course)

3 April 1992 – 29 July 1992
Succeeded by
Yevgeny Sadovyi
Preceded by
Jörg Hoffmann
Men's 1500 metres freestyle
world record holder (long course)

5 April 1992 – 29 July 2001
Succeeded by
Grant Hackett
Preceded by
Yevgeny Sadovyi
Men's 400 metres freestyle
world record holder (long course)

11 September 1994 – 22 August 1999
Succeeded by
Ian Thorpe
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Károly Güttler
World Swimmer of the Year
1994
Succeeded by
Denis Pankratov