Interview Transcript

As seen on The Games, Channel 7 Network Australia, Sat 13 Aug 1999


The Interviewer, Tracey Holmes:Kieren, what about the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Is it different in your approach to the first two?

Kieren Perkins: Oh, it's been an evolutionary thing right along, you know in Barcelona I was there, competing, really nothing else, you know in Atlanta I took a bit more notice of what was going on around me, I was more prepared to be involved in the outside activities out of competition. And next year in 2000 I think I'll probably take that a step further and I think I'll be spending all of my time taking notice of what's going on around me and being involved as much as I can.

T: I remember in Barcelona when you walked out and you had that steely, steely gaze. Were you aware of the atmosphere around you at all? Or were you completely in tunnel vision mode?

K: No, very much tunnel vision mode in '92. You know, things get in, and you, they announce your name and you know that you have to do that step up and acknowledge the crowd, and that sort of thing, but really I was there racing, I had the pool in front of me and that was it.

T: Now Atlanta was a completely different story, you sneaked into the final, the last qualifier, and a pep talk from Greg Norman. Now what does the Shark say to The Superfish?

K: Heh heh. That was actually an interesting experience, because I'd never met him before, and like every other Australian idolised him something terribly. He did probably the best thing that anyone could have done - he didn't talk about swimming - you know, he just said, I think the most he said was 'you seem to know what you're doing, you'll be fine' you know, that was it.

T: What about Sydney? Next September, how's Kieren Perkins going to approach it?

K: It's just so very different. Obviously the swimming, wanting to get in there and win that third Olympic gold medal, that thing that no male in swimming has ever done, is just so very important to me and it's something that obviously I'm really focused on and committed to. But. It's in Sydney. It's a home Olympics. There's so many things at these Olympics that I want to do that I haven't done before. I've never marched in an Opening Ceremony, If my program permits wild horses won't keep me away because I want to experience walking into the stadium in front of a home crowd. An Olympics in Australia is probably not going to happen again in my lifetime, and most definitely not as an athlete, and, it's an opportunity to grab with both hands.


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