Perkins brings home the gold


Bishop’s grad wins two medals at Paralympic Games

Roy Perkins probably didn’t know what to expect when he boarded a plane for China last month. Coming home with two medals from the Beijing Paralympic Games likely topped even his wildest dreams.

Perkins, a 2008 graduate of The Bishop’s School, won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly and won bronze in the 100-meter freestyle at the games.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long, and it feels amazing,” Perkins said in a U.S. Paralympic Team release. “It’s very fulfilling. I’ve trained hard for so many years.”

Perkins’ time of 35.95 seconds in the 50-meter butterfly also set a Paralympic world record.

“It was great to see Roy improve his time and get the world record,” U.S. Paralympic swimming coach Julie O’Neill said.

Perkins was born without hands or feet, but that didn’t stop him from becoming an elite athlete.

Perkins began swimming at the age of 12, and within months, he completed the 1.2-mile swim portion of the San Diego International Triathlon. He moved on to competing in local meets, and set multiple U.S. records at the 2004 Paralympics Swimming Trials.

He quickly took to competing at the highest levels, and has become a fixture on the international circuit since then.

In 2006, Perkins competed at the U.S. Paralympic Swimming National Championships, where he set three American records and a Pan American record.

Later that year, he won a gold medal with a world record time in the 50 meter butterfly and took bronze in the 200 individual medley at the International Paralympic Committee Championships in Durban, South Africa.

Last year, he was named to the 2006-07 USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team, and earlier this year he took gold in the 50-meter butterfly at the Paralympic World Cup event in Manchester, England.

Perkins was expected to arrive back in the U.S. on today (Sept. 18), his mother, Jana Perkins, said.