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Aquablack Sam Perry Retires from Competitive Swimming

Aquablack Sam Perry has today announced his retirement from competitive swimming to focus on other endeavours. 


Perry’s first pinnacle international meet for New Zealand was at the 17th FINA World Championship in 2017. He then went on to place 6th in the 50m Butterfly final at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 


At the Commonwealth Games Perry was a member of the men’s 4x100 freestyle relay team alongside Daniel Hunter, Matthew Stanley and Corey Main which placed 4th in the final. He also made the semi-finals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events. 


Photo: Sam Perry at the 2018  Gold Coast Commonwealth Games


In 2018 Perry graduated from Stanford University in the United States where he studied economics and was a key member of the men’s swimming and diving team and went on to captain the squad in his senior year.


Along with Perry’s success in the water he also excelled in academics, winning the 18 Time All-American Athlete Award and All-American Academic honours.


Perry first began his swimming career in Cambridge being coached by Chris Jolly at Rovers Swim Club, before progressing to St Peter’s Swimming Club and coached by Carl Gordon and Alison Fitch.


Swimming New Zealand (SNZ) Targeted Athlete and Coach Manager Gary Francis would like to extend SNZ’s thanks to Sam for his service to the sport.


“Sam is an exceptionally talented individual and has shown improvement in his performances and ongoing professionalism throughout his career.”


Francis added, “SNZ look forward to seeking ways to continue to involve Sam within the swimming community and wish him all the best with his next chapter.”



  • First competed for New Zealand in the 2012 Trans-Tasman Tri Series and was part of the World University Games Team in 2015
  • 17th FINA World Championships representative in Budapest
  • 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games representative
  • Stanford University men’s swimming and diving team
  • Captain on the Stanford University men’s swimming and diving team in his senior year
  • Broke a decade old Stanford University record in the 100-yard freestyle in his junior year that still stands
  • Won two PAC 12 Conference Titles for the 50 and 100-yard freestyle.


Photo Credit: Ian MacNicol