Mr Kieren Perkins OAM
Champions did not swim from lane eight. Or so we thought before KIEREN PERKINS busted that myth at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
It was there that the great Queenslander defied predictions his reign as the world’s dominant 1500m swimmer was over.
With all eyes on the favourite, teammate Daniel Kowalski, Perkins embraced his underdog status to become the first Australian since Dawn Fraser to successfully defend an individual Olympic title.
During almost two decades he set 11 world records, won two Olympic gold, two silvers and more than a dozen world title and Commonwealth medals.
Australia knew it had someone special when Perkins battled Germany’s Jorg Hoffman at the 1991 world championships.
A year later at Barcelona, the Queenslander’s first Olympics, he won silver in the 400m, then gold in the 1500m. Perkins in the pool became “must watch” moments for a decade of not just sports followers.