London bound latest - Kieren is on board
18 February 2011
Kieren Perkins is the latest Olympic great making a comeback at the London Games in 2012.
He follows Geoff Huegill, Ian Thorpe and Michael Klim who have signalled their intentions to be part of the Australian Olympic Team.
But Perkins, one of the greatest 1500 metre swimmers of all time with two gold and two silver medals, is keeping his feet dry.
There will be no swimming, instead he has accepted a role as an Athlete Liasion Officer (ALO).
“I’ll be there to support the 450 athletes on our Team,” he said.
“I don’t think the older guys will need my help but I am looking forward to working with the younger Team members in a mentoring role”.
Perkins joins John Eales (Rugby), Steve Waugh (Cricket) and Layne Beachley (Surfing) as ALO’s on the Team.
He will work with not only the swimmers but members of the other 25 sports competing. He replaces Andrew Gaze who has accepted a media role in London.
“We fully understand Andrew’s position and we are fortunate to be in a position to have another champion athlete in Kieren available to fill the role” said Chef de Mission Nick Green.
“Kieren’s win at the 1996 Atlanta Games is one of the greatest moments in Australian Olympic history,” said Green.
“Most people know where they were on that particular day when he overcame adversity to claim one of the most memorable gold medal victories ever. To have him join John, Steve and Layne on our Team for London is a great positive for all of us”.
ALO’s mentor athletes. They work with individuals and teams who may be struggling for form or looking for motivation or an edge. They share their vast knowledge of sport, including the highs and lows, and help athletes reach their goals.
Eales and Waugh have been before. Eales was an ALO at the 2004 Athens Games and again in Beijing in 2008. Waugh joined the Team for the first time in 08.
They have a very strong emphasis on bringing the different athletes together and focus on the one Team concept.
They attend training sessions and competition and work closely with head coaches in Team building activities. Their work is done behind closed doors and kept confidential. Often they deal with issues concerning different athletes or Teams.
They also play an active role with the Village Activities Co-ordinator, Laurie Lawrence, who organises barbeques and other entertainment in the Australian section of the Village.