Kieren will dive into the pool in the 1500m freestyle with the hopes of Australia willing him to return to his best form. In 1996 he astonished the country by winning back-to-back gold medals in the 1500m after sneaking into the final as the slowest qualifier. He is widely recognised as the person that started Australia's golden era of swimming with his performances in the early 1990's and the way he handled himself out of the pool opening the eyes of young swimmers and others to the opportunities for successful swimmers. He still holds the 800m and 1500m world records and along with Grant Hackett will contest one of the most watched events of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, especially amongst the Australian public that has placed its swimmers on a pedestal. As well as two Olympic gold medals he also has countless Commonwealth, Pan Pacific and World Championship titles to his credit but he is after just one more prize - a third consecutive Olympic Gold Medal. Kieren is another Comeback King who will have his two children and wife Symantha cheering him on from the grandstands. Sydney will be his third Olympic Games after he claimed silver (400m) and gold (1500m) in Barcelona before a gold medal in the 1500m in Atlanta.
"My parents, for supporting and encouraging me always".
What Started you
in the Sport?
At 8 years of age Kieren went through a plate glass window and seriously damaged the calf muscle in his left leg and swimming was his rehabilitation.
Did you Know?
Perkins runs his own Sports Management agency with his father. His career goal is to be the second Australian to win gold medals in the same event at three consecutive Olympic Games. His superstitions: "Always have spare goggles with me behind the blocks."
"Winning that third gold to me is the difference between being remembered as a good swimmer versus being remembered as a legend like Dawn Fraser. I'd like to think that getting that gold medal would put me in that company." "I am made for the water. My body is not really used to fighting gravity." "When I get in the water, I've got five hours a day of complete solace, the opportunity to pound any frustration out of my system. And when I don't have that couple of hours of intense physical solitude to really work everything out of my system, I get fidgety. I probably get more irritable. I couldn't function normally in life without it."
Off Sporting Field
1993; Awarded Order of Australia Medal, and Advance Australia Award and Young Australian of the Year.
Awards and honours
1992-94; Aust. Swimmer of the Year. 1992; 1st, 1500m freestyle, 2nd, 400m freestyle, Olympic Games, Barcelona. 1994; 1st, 1500m, 400m and 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay, Commonwealth Games, Canada. 1994 ; 1st, 1500m and 400m freestyle, World Championships, Rome 1994 ; Voted Most Popular Sports Personality of the Year 1994; Awarded FINA prize for World Best Contribution to Water Sports 1996; 1st, 1500m freestyle, Olympic Games, Atlanta 1998; 3rd, 1500m freestyle, Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur 2000; 7th, 200m freestyle, Selection Trials, Sydney
About the team The Australian team, who they are and how they made it to the Games
Who to watch Who to keep your eye on throughout the Games
About the sport The history and rules of all the Olympic Sports
At the Games Where you can see our athletes and their competition format
Preparing for the Games How the Australian team prepared for the Games