Kieran Perkins: An Inspirational Olympic Moment

Kieran Perkins demonstrated to all of us his spirit of achievement and strong focus, in his triumphant 1996 Olympic Games 1500 m swimming final.  As he touched the wall to win the gold medal, it became obvious to all of us watching intently, all around the world, that self-belief and perseverance are the cornerstones to human endeavor, including the achievements in our own lives.

Going into the 1996 Olympic Games, Kieran Perkins was the undisputed favourite for the gold medal in his preferred event – 1500 m freestyle swimming.  Kieran was the reigning Olympic champion from the preceding Games in Barcelona, was the reigning world champion, and was the world record holder in this event.  Sporting enthusiasts the world over had expected Kieran to breeze into the final, and then claim the gold medal with his inimitable, effortless style.

However, in the qualifying heats two days before the final, Kieran’s characteristically smooth stroke appeared to leave him as he battled stomach cramps and apparent lethargy in his swim, unheard of in the world of elite athletes.  Swimming well below his best, Kieran Perkins narrowly qualified for the final by a time of .02 seconds, to snag the last available place for the final – lane eight.  (For those of you who may be unfamiliar with swimming, athletes are placed in lanes based on their qualifying times.  The fastest swimmers are placed in the “premier” lanes in the middle of the pool – lanes 4 and 5 – and the slowest swimmers are placed sequentially to the outside lanes.)

With the sporting world writing him off after his lackluster performance in the heats, Kieran stood on the blocks for the final and said to himself, “I am in lane eight. It’s the same water as the rest of the pool. I’ve just got to get in there and do it.”

Demonstrating an absolute conviction in his own ability, and stubborn defiance against those who dared to doubt him, Kieran entered the pool and led the final from start to finish.  Kieran Perkins had successfully defended his gold medal, and in the process, showed us one of the most inspirational moments of the modern Olympics.

This inspirational Olympic moment reminds us all that, when things get hard, and when people around us are negative, you need to focus on your own goals and visions.  When you lead a healthy and fit life, you will come across obstacles and challenges that will test your determination.  As with Kieran Perkins’ inspirational achievement in Atlanta 1996, these are the times to remind yourself of your own goals, so that you can drive forward on the path to leading the healthy life you desire and deserve.


Source: YouTube Keiren Perkins 1996 Olympic Games 1500mts Final