Latest News

Kieren at the 1998 Commonwealth GamesManchester 2002 Commonwealth Games (28/07/02)

Kieren signs with Seven for Commonwealth Games (02/06/02)

The King buoys Elka (13/03/02)

Kieren's Back In Training (23/11/01)

Plaques honour Kieren (15/09/01)

Off to Fukuoka (14/07/01)

Perkins fields some questions (18/05/01)

Australian Swimmer of the Year Awards (17/03/01)

Kieren splashes out (10/02/01)

Australian Federation Centenary: Perkins' parade (01/01/01)

Now Dr. Perkins (13/12/00)

It's Official: Perkins retires (16/11/00)

Perkins appointed to ASC board (03/11/00)

Perkins carries Paralympic Flame (17/10/00)

Perkins wants to continue his swimming connection (09/10/00)

2000 OLYMPICS STORIES:

The King gets silver this time, but it's worth its weight in gold (23/09/00)

King Kieren swims 14:58 heat (22/09/00)

   Older Stories...


Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games

Channel 7: Kieren discusses Day 1 of swimming | Kieren discusses Day 2 of swimming | Kieren discusses Day 3 of swimming |

Kieren's articles for SMH: 400m freestyle preview | 400m freestyle overview |

Articles where Kieren speaks about his hosting job

Further to the story below, the Commonwealth Games have started and you're sure to see Kieren soon!

You can see a small page about him on Channel 7's Commonwealth games site. Seems he has the job position 'Expert Opinion.'

It seem's he'll be giving his expert opinions on the early morning 'Manchester Breakfast' show at 7am weekdays along with Joanna Griggs, as well as on 'Today at the Games' daily at 5pm.

There will also be an online chat with him at 7pm on August 3, but due to Seven's alliance with AOL, it's open to AOL members only. (Maybe time to dig out those free cds? :)

Kieren will also write columns for the Sydney Morning Herald during the Games.

 

Kieren signs with Seven

02/06/02

Kieren will co-host the Seven Network's swimming coverage of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, along with former swimmer Johanna Griggs. He may continue with Seven for the 2004 Olympic Games coverage.

Perkins says he has been flat out. "I'm enjoying the work I'm doing," he said. "I'm pretty lucky I've got so much
on my plate, there are plenty of other athletes who aren't busy."


The King buoys Elka

13/03/02

With the Australian Swimming Championships starting in a few days, the AAP newswire has started to pay attention to history's greatest distance swimmer:

BRISBANE, March 12 - AAP

Sydney teenager Elka Graham goes into next week's Commonwealth Games trials buoyed by some advice from swimming great Kieren Perkins.

Perkins has become a confidante for 19-year-old Graham who clocked the fastest 200 metres freestyle time for women last year yet came away from the world titles empty-handed.

Graham set a personal best of one minute, 58.54 seconds in the lead-off leg of the women's 4x200m relay only to see the gold medal slip from her grasp when the team was disqualified. That time would have won her gold in the individual event but she was unable to repeat the effort, finishing without a medal.

The experience would have been enough to break some swimmers.

But Graham's coach Narelle Simpson said the Sydney Olympian would take to the blocks at next week's Brisbane trials a stronger and more mature athlete.

Some training sessions with "The King" clearly hasn't hurt.

After attending the world titles in Fukuoka, Japan, last July, as a television reporter, Perkins returned to the pool three days a week with Simpson's training squad at Manly to keep fit.

Graham was keen to learn everything she could from the dual Olympic champion.

"It was a confidence thing," Simpson explained.

"Kieren would tell her: 'you've got to get up there and know what you can do. The coach can tell you till they're blue in the face but you have to know inside'.

"It didn't matter how many times I'd said it to her, when it came out of Kieren's mouth it sounded different. It shows you the influence that peers have on them."

Perkins said he was surprised when Graham publicly thanked him for his help during last year's Australian swimming awards.

"It was funny because I probably didn't necessarily appreciate what it was that I was doing ... because I really just talked to her," he said.

"She'd ask me questions about things and I'd tell her what I thought and how I'd coped with different situations.

"Elka's someone who hasn't been around that long. She ... hasn't had heaps of racing experience. It didn't take much for me to have a couple of words in her ear.

"Certainly, I think as an athlete she seems like she's on the verge of finding that thing that will propel her to the next level.

"It's just a matter of getting the time and experience and keeping the faith."

Graham, who is under a media blackout to allow her to concentrate on her performances, will contest the 50, 100, 200 and 400m freestyle during the six-day trials which kick off next Monday.

BRISBANE, March 12  - AAP

Olympic gold medallist Kieren Perkins met up with an avid fan in the Royal Brisbane Hospital's bone marrow transplant unit today. Perkins visited 31-year-old Andrew Pratt, who was diagnosed with leukaemia eight months ago and had a bone marrow transplant operation last Friday.

Mr Pratt, who describes his survival as a miracle, will spend the next four to eight weeks in hospital after the transplant.

"It made my day today," he said after spending several minutes chatting with Perkins.

"I'm really happy now."

Perkins added his signature to Mr Pratt's extensive autograph collection.

© 2002 AAP Information Services Pty. Ltd


Kieren's Back In Training

23/11/01

Obviously Kieren has started to miss the pool, because he's back in training - although there is no news of plans for a comeback.

Kieren trains 3 days a week at Manly's Boy Charlton pool with 2000 Olympian and unofficial 2001 World Champion Elka Graham.

"I've learned so much from him,' admits Elka. "Having Kieren training with me is such a help. He trains Monday, Wednesday and Friday - the heavy sessions."

Graham holds the fastest time in the world this year for the 200m freestyle but missed World Championships gold in the ill-fated 4x200 relay where the Australians were disqualified after the event for premature celebration.

ABC News
Thu, Dec 6 2001

“Elka Graham won the womens 300 metres freestyle which was contested by having three races over 100 metres.Graham won all 3 races and was the biggest winner of the meet, collecting $6500

She says former champion Kieren Perkins was behind her victory.

"I swam with Kieren this morning and he gave me some awesome advice. He told me to close my eyes [in the last 25 metres] and to absolutely go for it," she said.”

Kieren's A Top Export

Kieren has won an award at Australia's most prestigious export awards ceremony, reports AAP.

Perkins was presented with an individual achievement award at the Australian Export Awards. As one of Australia's most successful and famous international sporting icons, Perkins was named the "Great Aussie Export".

He joined the ranks of past winners Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia with a special achievement award for his contribution to Australia's international image.

Perkins gets on board

A member of the Swimmer's Commission of Australian Swimming, Kieren has been elected by his swimmer peers to be chairman of the Swimmer's Commission. This gives him a place on the board of Australian Swimming Inc.

Kieren said he was honoured and would meet with the Swimmers' Commission in Melbourne on Monday to get a better idea of what issues they wanted raised at ASI level.


Plaques honour Kieren

15/09/01

The overflowing plaque at the Sydney Aquatic Centre (2000 Olympic pool) honouring Kieren has been updated to mention his 2000 Olympics achievements. Another plaque honouring Kieren will be located in the tribute to medallists surrounding the 2000 Olympics' torch in its new position at Olympic Park. Pics.

Recent activities for Kieren have included at speech at the Goodwill Games opening ceremony, and a busy trip to Tasmania which you can read about here.


Off to Fukuoka

14/07/01

Kieren has headed off to Fukuoka, Japan for the World Swimming Championships - though not as a competitor this time. The recently retired swim champ joined the Nine Network to work on a number of projects. For the Japan trip he will stretch his wings as a reporter for A Current Affair where Channel 9 says he'll ``be developing feature stories with athletes and stakeholders''.  Expect him to be seen as expert opinion/interview during their TV coverage also.

Channel 9 staffers are reportedly impressed with his on-air talent.

Kieren's debut story for A Current Affair did not go completely smoothly though:

Identity crisis for Kieren
A MEDIA man who forgot his pass had trouble getting into the Telstra Grand Prix swimming meet last week but we are assured one K. Perkins finally made it inside.
 - The Courier-Mail, 16 Jul 2001.

17/07/01

In Kieren's continuing adventures at the World Swimming Championships, he headed out in a media boat to report on his former training partner, Hayley Lewis, winning bronze in the 5km open water event. A frantic Japanese official rushed over to him "You must, simply must wear a lifejacket. No exceptions." Just in case he'd forgotten how to swim in the 10 months since the Olympics, Perkins obliged. See the pic!

20/07/01

Kieren says he would like Grant Hackett to break the 1500m world record he has held continuously for the last 9 1/2 years because "it would do him more good than it's doing me." How kind...


Perkins fields some questions

18/05/01

As part of the celebrations of Australia's centenary of federation there have been a series of talks given on issues affecting Australia by prominent Australians - the Deakin Lectures. Kieren was chosen to give a speech on the topic of (naturally) sport. You can read the transcript here. Afterwards Kieren answered questions from the audience on a range of issues including the curious feeling of having the adulation of a nation, the fear he felt at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and how he won the race, and how he's coping with his retirement. You can read his answers here too.

In other news, Kieren will present the World Swimming Championships on Channel Nine's A Current Affair. The lifestyle TV show he will co-host,Weekend, will reportedly debut on Friday May 25.

Kieren's stroke of luck

The Daily Telegraph, 20/05/01

Kieren Perkins may be one of the greatest swimmers of all time, but he admits he's still wet behind the ears in his post-retirement career.

As presenter of the Nine Network's new Sydney-based infotainment program Weekend, which makes its debut this Friday, Perkins has scored some dubious assignments.

"One day, you're on a beautiful ship sailing on Sydney Harbour, the next, you're doing a report on the Malabar sewage-treatment works," he laughed.

"The crew also enjoyed locking me in a cell at the Police and Justice Museum - there's a little bit of testing out the new guy by giving him some of the more 'interesting' stories."

Perkins, his journalist wife Symantha, and children Georgia and Harry relocated to Sydney's northern beaches three months ago.

Landing the TV role has given him an amazing opportunity to explore his new backyard.

"I've been to Sydney a thousand times, yet the first time I've been to Paddington markets was with Weekend.

"I went kayaking in Middle Harbour, which was amazing, but my favourite new place is The Chocolate Box, at Paddington. I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to chocolate."


Australian Swimmer of the Year Awards

17/03/01

The Australian Swimmer of the Year awards ceremony was held last night, with Kieren Perkins being awarded the 'Outstanding Contribution to Australian Swimming' award.

The night also served as an emotional farewell to Australian swimming's 'Fab 5' of Perkins, Susie O'Neill, Sam Riley, Matt Dunn and Chris Fydler, who are retiring after the 2000 Olympics. The 5 swimmers were given a standing ovation by the attendees.

Kieren's new job

Following his impressive guest hosting of Fox Sports Central, the Nine Network has signed Kieren as the host of its new lifestyle TV show Weekend. The show explores tourist attractions around Sydney and airs at 5:30pm on Fridays.


Kieren splashes out

10/02/01

Tonight it was off the blocks for Perkins into his new life as a TV personality as he was commentator for the Uncle Tobys Super Swim Series on Channel 10.

Judging by tonight's performance, Kieren will make an excellent swimming commentator, however he does admit some nervousness at starting a new career.

"Like anybody else embarking on a new career there's a lot of uncertainty," he said earlier this week. "All the normal worries - are you going to be able to keep putting food on the table, is work going to keep coming your way. All those things that everybody else worries about."

However he is relaxed and happy, not surprising for someone who recently retired after flogging themselves in the pool 6 hours a day for the last 18 years. The novelty of not training has brought on some new obsessions.

"I've gone from the sublime to the ridiculous," he said. "I live on 10 acres in Brisbane, and I enjoy mowing it. It takes me 5 hours to do it and since the Games they've been mowed religiously every week."

"For the year leading up to the Olympics I didn't have the time or the energy. I trained for 6 hours a day. Every minute of your life is geared towards making sure you do the right thing by yourself. It's a very selfish existence, very difficult on the people around you for a variety of reasons."

Perkins has had experience in television before, working part time jobs at Channel 7 and 10 from 1992-1995. It is unlikely he has signed a long term contract with Ten however it can be speculated that he will sign a contract with one of the major networks (probably 7 or 9) sooner or later. Perkins was reportedly in talks with the Nine Network around the New Year period.

And so what was it like for the King of the pool to watch from the sidelines?

"Sitting here, and watching them hurting and not me is something I'm enjoying immensely," he joked.

Perkins on the move

Kieren and the removalist pack up some medals...well actually I think they're a photo of the medalsKieren and his family will move from Brisbane south to Sydney in a bid to further his television career.

They will rent a house at Manly until they decide on a house to buy.

Kieren admitted he was a little nervous about the move to Sydney but believes that at this point in the careers of both him and his wife there is more opportunity in Sydney.

"Most people I meet think I live in Sydney rather than Brisbane, but I'll be travelling between the two for the Goodwill Games and in my role with the Sports Commission [board member] and Australian Swimming [athletes commission]," Perkins said.

Kieren and his family have been living in the Brisbane suburb of Brookfield since early 1999 and before that lived in the suburb of Auchenflower. As a child Kieren lived in the suburb of Kenmore.

Any buyer of Kieren's house would have to install their own swimming pool, as during his swimming career Kieren had no desire to swim when he got home after spending 6 hours in the pool training.

'We'll really be quite sad to go," said Kieren about leaving Brisbane. "But I'm sure we'll be back."


Australian Federation Centenary: Perkins' parade

01/01/01

One of the key celebrations to celebrate 100 years of Australian federation was a massive parade through Sydney city. Kieren was the centrepiece of the sports part of the parade. He was the crowd favourite among most of the 3.4km parade route, inciting more general discussion and cheering (mostly 'Kieren!') than any other individual in the parade.

See the photos I took of the parade


Now Dr. Perkins

13/12/00

Kieren Perkins and Susie O'Neill will receive honourary doctorates from the University of QLD in recognition of their enormous contributions to sport in Australia. Perkins will receive a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa.
However it wasn't all play and no work for Dr. Perkins at uni, as during his career he completed part of an Arts degree at the University of QLD, and spent countless thousands of hours churning up and down the university's pool.

The honours keep pouring in for Perkins; he has just been named as this year's recipient of the Queensland Academy of Sport's Peter Lacey award for sporting excellence.

It has also been revealed by The Daily Telegraph that Kieren will play a major role in Australia's Centenary of Federation celebrations on January 1, 2001. A key part of the celebrations will be a parade through Sydney's city centre celebrating 100 years since the Australian states federated to become one Commonwealth, Kieren will be the centrepiece of the sports part of this parade.

Parade route map


It's Official: Perkins retires

16/11/00

Bye...Although he said he would retire after the Sydney Olympics both during much of his career and both before and after the Sydney Olympic final, Kieren officially announced his retirement today, at a news conference alongside his career-long coach John Carew.

This makes the 2000 Olympics the final meet in a stunning international  career which began in January 1990 at the Commonwealth Games, where Perkins won silver in the 1500m in 14:58.08. He is still the youngest person to ever break 15min in the event.

Kieren said he had delayed officially announcing his retirement partly because he didn't want anyone to think he had retired because he 'only' won silver in Sydney. (Unfortunately at the Olympics some Asian newspapers decided Perkins had retired only because he was beaten and was a bad sport, unaware of the fact that retiring after the 2000 Olympics was part of Perkins' career plan as early as 1991.)

Perkins says he has had a charmed sporting life and nominated some favourite moments.

"The past 11 years I've been a member of the Australian swimming team and I've had a fantastic time and been able to do and achieve some wonderful things and they've all been fantastic memories for me," Perkins said.

"The 1500 win in Atlanta will always be very special but the 400 in Rome, the World Championships where I set the world record, the time it was some swim that I never expected - I didn't think that I had that in me," he said.

"And so for that reason it was a bit of a surprise and it was always something that will always be very dear."

"Low points? To be honest, nothing really springs to mind. I'm not the sort of person that dwells too much on that kind of thing. There's obviously been times when I haven't won races and have had to go through some difficult periods but all in all, they've been far outweighed by the highs. There's really been nothing but great times."

Kieren still isn't completely sure what he'll do now he's retired.

"There's relief that the pressure of performance is over, I'm going to miss swimming a lot, I know that, especially the training and the camaraderie from the group of people that go through the same things that I go through."

"I have to admit though that there's a fair sense of trepidation moving into life in general now  - it sort of seems like I've got these decisions riding on the rest of my life and that's putting a little bit of pressure on me I think but I've got plenty of time, there's no rush."

Kieren thanked his coach, family and fans for their support throughout his career.

"The support that I've had has been exceptional. That's probably what makes me the proudest of what I've achieved . . . to think that the public, in general, honestly appreciate what I've done for the country. I thank them all for their support."  

Kieren still holds the 1500m 800 and 800m shortcourse world records. His gold medal winning time from the 1992 Olympics would still be the world record if Perkins himself hadn't broken it again. However Perkins' coach feels Kieren could have swum faster in the 1500m.

"I don't think we've ever seen the best of Kieren," Carew said.

"I think he could have gone into the 14:30's. About 14mins37secs, I thought he could have swum."

The plan had been to do this at the 1994 World Championships. However 2 weeks earlier, at the Commonwealth Games, Kieren was instructed to break the 800m world record in the 1500m and then slow down and just swim to win. However Perkins felt so good that he disobeyed Carew and swam on to break the 1500m as well in the same race.

Perkins' taper had been designed for him to reach his peak at the World Championships so it is believed that if he had broken just the 1500m world record 2 weeks later when his taper designed it he would have swum much faster. However due to his double world record swim by the time of the World Championships he was tired out (but still won gold in the 1500, and gold in world record time in the 400m.)

"It wasn't the right thing to do. Mr Carew didn't want me to," Perkins admitted today.

But Kieren has no regrets about his career.

"There were plenty of times leading into the [2000 Olympic] Games when I considered that maybe I should retire early and not so much give up, but why put myself through this pain and suffering," he said.  "But I'm glad I stuck with it because it was certainly worth it. It was the most amazing event that I was ever involved in."  

"I think if I'd fallen into the trap of wanting to keep going [now] just to prove that I could win again I might be going forever ... I don't think I need to prove anything. I have no regrets, it's all been wonderful."

It certainly has been wonderful, among many achievements Perkins revolutionising Australian swimming to again be a world power and becoming without doubt the greatest distance swimmer and Australia's greatest male Olympian of all time.

Kieren at his retirement announcement

 


Perkins appointed to ASC board

Kieren at Sydney 200003/11/00 - (AFP/AAP) Kieren Perkins was appointed to the Australian Sports Commission board today.

Perkins joins the board of the government's sports administrative and funding arm at a critical time.
In the aftermath of Australia's most successful Olympics, many sports face an uncertain future because of the prospect of government funding cuts following the winding up of the Olympic Athlete Program. Perkins has vowed to help pave the way for future Olympians and also encourage more children into sport.

"All the stuff we've been watching at the Olympics, none of that happens unless there's kids coming up from the bottom to feed the ranks," Perkins said.

"Something I'm pretty conscious of is that now that we've got through these Games, we'll probably have a bit of a roll-on effect which will see us through 2004 with a reasonable amount of performance. But after that, unless we've got young primary school-aged children now who are looking at that Olympic dream, we'll hit 2008 with nobody, with very low stocks. It's quite important that ... we start building that future."

Perkins said as an ASC board member he hoped to encourage more grassroots participation in sport as a means of attacking childhood obesity and delinquency.

While Perkins said he had generally been in "holiday mode" since the Sydney Games, his love of swimming has enticed him back to the pool a few times - but only for fun.

"I have been for a couple of swims, just for the hell of it," the world and Olympic record holder said.

"Now that there's no pressure on me, I can enjoy it.

"The reason that I was as good at it as I was is because I loved doing it. The only way the love sort of tapered off over the years was the feeling that there was an obligation to do it more than my own personal reasons."


Perkins carries Paralympic Flame

17/10/00

Kieren runs with the flame near the Opera HouseThe crowds turned out as Kieren Perkins ran a leg of the Paralympic Torch Relay in Sydney today. Being the high-profile athlete he is, Kieren was given one of the more glamorous legs of the relay, being passed the torch by Rugby League great Andrew Ettingshausen in the shadows of Sydney Opera House and carrying it through the Botanic Gardens to Government House where it was greeted by a welcoming ceremony. Next the torch was passed to fellow swimming legend Dawn Fraser.

Despite being super fit, being a swimmer Kieren hasn't exactly been doing a large amount of running in his preparation, and he felt the effects today.

"That's further than I've run probably in total in my entire life, so the legs are cramping up, it wasn't fun!'' he grinned.

However he was delighted with the record ticket sales for Paralympic events. "It's testimony to just how much Australians love their sport and love to see people giving it a go. This is really what it's about.''

Perkins said Paralympians and Olympians inspired each other.

"They probably look to the able-bodied athletes for inspiration with the achievements that we have, but I tell you what, the things that they do far outweigh anything we do," Kieren said.

"The way they turn their lives around and are now competing ... at their Olympics, is truly inspirational.''

"It's an incredibly strong message for all Australians. No matter how low you might think you are, you can always get out there and do something special."

The Paralympics start tomorrow.

It lit *this* time!More Photos: [1] - [2] - [3]


Perkins wants to continue his swimming connection

09/10/00

Kieren Perkins hopes to continue his presence on Australian teams - as a team motivator.

"I think my greatest asset is probably my experience as a competitor, and given the opportunity to maybe pass that experience on to other athletes I would certainly jump at that opportunity," Perkins said today.

"There's many, many areas. All of the institutes of sport and academy of sports throughout the country, and obviously there is the athlete liaison roles at both Commonwealth and Olympics."

After a whirlwind of tickertape parades in Sydney and Melbourne, Kieren touched down in his home city of Brisbane - to yet another parade.

"It's exciting ... coming home is always the best part of going away and being back here in Brisbane has been great so far, and for me to have the opportunity to thank all the local people who have supported me over the years and through these great Olympics is an exciting experience," Perkins said.

"This is what it's all about. The parades in Sydney and Melbourne were exciting but this for me is the big one."

And what of The King's own assessment of his swimming greatness? When asked if he was a legend, Kieren denied it with typical modesty.

"I'm not in their league, I think I'm just, yeah, not a bad swimmer."

Next on the agenda for Kieren is a holiday with his family, then life after 18 years spent in competitive swimming - something Kieren says is akin to a 'bit of a mid-life crisis', even if he is only 27.


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