Kieren Perkins Reveals Panic Attack That Almost Cost Him Olympic Swimming Glory At Atlanta 1996 – Yahoo!7

Merryll Vorster testified Monday that events during Pistorius’ life, including the amputation of his lower legs as a baby and his late mother’s habit of sleeping with a gun under her pillow, contributed to his “increasing stress.” Pistorius’ defense said it would show his feelings of “vulnerability” contributed to him shooting girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake last year fearing she was an intruder hiding in a toilet cubicle in his home. Prosecutors say Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally after an argument. The Olympian is charged with premeditated murder. Vorster said she interviewed Pistorius and some of his family members and friends. Also on HuffPost: Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day.. Facebook
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The reality was in the middle of the heat, at that heat, I panicked in Atlanta. “I got to this point where I just realised that the least painful thing to do for me would probably be just to miss the final and disappear into obscurity and tell stories of the good old times about the races I’d won before. “And it’s not to say that I stopped trying or I gave up, but I certainly stopped pushing and just rolled through the rest of the [heat] at the pace that I was doing, and touched the wall and looked up at the scoreboard and saw the eight beside my name.” Qualifying by a mere fingernail, the swimming great was largely written off for the final, having been relegated to race in the despised lane eight. “That was when the real panic set in, because I realised of course I was in the final, I was in lane eight and I was going to have to back up tomorrow and face the world and stand on the blocks and swim, when clearly I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t good enough,” he said. As the drama reverberated across the athletes’ village in Atlanta – and back home on Australian televisions – it was looking likely Perkins was barrelling towards defeat on the biggest sporting stage the following night. Self-doubt flooded his mind and it was a feeling he was not used to. “I started to mentally go off on this ridiculous tangent about how my life was going to forever alter because if I didn’t win this swimming race the sponsors will be gone, the income will be gone,” he said.
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