Why he's so good
- First person in history to win 3 consecutive Olympic medals in the 1500m, of any colours (2 gold, 1 silver)
- Most dominant male swimmer in an event in Olympic history - Only the 3rd man in history to win 2 gold and 1 silver in the same Olympic swimming event - both of the others were in the 100m freestyle, and until Perkins and Popov did it in 2000, no one had achieved the feat since 1924. However, of these 3, Perkins was the only one to leave still holding the world and Olympic records in his event.
- Only 2nd person in history to win 2 consecutive Olympic titles in the 1500m freestyle.
- Broke 12 world records
- Held 5 world records for much of his career (400, 800 and 1500m freestyle, 800 and 1500m freestyle shortcourse.)
- Retired from swimming still holding 3 world records, multiple Olympic, Commonwealth and Australian records...
- Won every title, record and award possible in his sport, most many times over
- First person in history to hold Olympic, World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific titles simultaneously for the same event (the 1500m freestyle), and at the same time held the world record, Olympic record, Commonwealth record, Pan Pac championships record for this event...
- Won every possible major title over 1500m freestyle from Aug 1991 - Olympics 1996 (7)
- Won 22 medals at the most major international meets (Olympics, world championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan Pacs) 17 of them gold.
- Unanimously credited with revolutionising Australian swimming and making it again a major sport and world power.
- First person in 45 years to break 2 world records in the one swim (800 and 1500m freestyle, both still stand.)
- Won the 400m freestyle at the 1994 world championships by what is still the largest margin in world championships history.
- Only male swimming world record holder entering the 1992 Olympics to leave still holding his world record.
- Still the youngest person to have broken 15 minutes for the 1500m freestyle (he swam 14:58.08 when he was 16.)
- Holds oldest men's shortcourse world record in the book (800m freestyle) and 2nd oldest men's world records in the book, which he set both in the same swim (800 and 1500m freestyle)
- Only person in history to win 200-400-1500 triple at one Commonwealth Games.
- Broke countless Olympic, Commonwealth, Pan Pacific, Australian, Australian Open, and QLD, NSW, VIC and WA state records.
- Broke the 15 minute mark for 1500m freestyle 13 times in his career (more than twice as many times as anyone else.)
- At the end of 1996 held all time world rankings 1-5 for 1500m freestyle, 1-5 and 7-11 for the 800m freestyle, 1, 3, 4 and 5 for 400m freestyle
- First swimmer in history to swim in the 14:40's for the 1500m freestyle (1992), remaining the only until 1999
- First Australian since Dawn Fraser in 1964 to successfully defend an Olympic title, in any sport.
- Owner of the fastest heat swim for 1500m in history (14:58.34 at Sydney 2000 Olympics.) In addition is the first person to break 15min for the 1500m twice in as many days (Sydney 2000 Olympics.)
- Had an interesting habit of swimming the 1500m, breaking the 800m world record at the 800m mark, stopping and celebrating, then continuing to swim the next 700m and winning anyway :)
See the greatness the statistics don't show - THE BIOGRAPHY