Swimming Australia Holds Tokyo Launch Party As Prime Video Flicks The Switch On A Whole New World

Prime Launch Bronte Campbell Hushidar Kharas, Kieren Perkins 3
PRIME TIME: Rio gold medallist Bronte Campbell, Prime Video boss Hushidar Kharas and Olympic legend and Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins. Photo Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Swimming Australia Holds Tokyo Launch Party As Prime Video Flicks The Switch On A Whole New World

Over 60 of Australia’s Dolphins swim team members reunited on the Gold Coast today for a major National Event Camp for what Rio Olympic gold medallist Bronte Campbell described as a launch party for Tokyo.

Standing alongside her was the towering figure of Swimming Australia president and two-time Olympic champion Kieren Perkins and huddled in between, a new man on the swimming blocks, who aims to take the Dolphins to the world.

Hushidar Kharas, Head of Amazon Prime Video Australia – and with the discussion around Tokyo the hottest topic in sport – he was primed for a big day at the launch of a two-year broadcast streaming partnership with Swimming Australia.


And as the media filed into the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport for the big announcement, all parties had every reason to celebrate.

The night before, Tokyo Olympic organisers had given its clearest signal yet that the Games were go with the unveiling of the first PlaybooK for international federations.

Prime launch Bronte Campbell

UP FRONT: Bronte Campbell is swimming 100 percent towards Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“Tokyo for me is 100 percent going ahead – it’s all eyes on Tokyo and I’m (fully) committed to training and we are settled that it will happen…we don’t know how its going to happen but it will be happening,” said Campbell, who has re-located back to COVID-safe Queensland under coach Simon Cusack after moving back from Sydney.

“There is a lot of noise about (the Games) but for me its just 100 percent happening; we have been assured by the IOC and the AOC who are in contact with us and telling us it’s happening.

“It’s been a year of uncertainty and we are very good now at tuning out the noise – (for me and with the team together for the first time) it feels a bit like a launch party for Tokyo.

“It’s the first stage of the second road to Tokyo – we have been here before and its time to retread again.

“I have not seen my team mates for over a year now so – I have been down in NSW and lots of them are in Queensland and spread out all over so its great to come together as a team and re-connect a little bit before Trials and then onto the Games.”

Campbell emphasised that the team knows the Games will be different – saying “but different is what we are expecting at the moment it has been a really weird year for everyone so we are getting used to ‘whatever happens happens.’

And the question of swimming without crowds?

“I’ve got my head under water most of the time so I’ve got no idea what is happening and you can’t hear anything anyway,” said Bronte.

“Swimming is just about preparing to race that’s the one thing I can control – we know its going to be a Games like no other Games – I’ll just prepare to take on board to do whatever we need to do to get there.

“Like wearing a mask it is all part of the protocol – I’ve actually got quite a collection of masks, that match my outfits…I’ll be taking them over to Tokyo.it’s just part of it..we’ll do what ever is necessary.”

Prime Launch Kieren Perkins

PRESIDENT PERKINS: Kieren Perkins at the helm of Swimming Australia. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Perkins reiterated saying: “It is unprecedented for all of us. We know we are going to have to adapt and adjust – I have been fortunate enough to compete in three Olympics and I have attended seven and they are all extremely different – every time,” said the calm and collected legend of the pool.

“There is stuff that always goes wrong – stuff that doesn’t work the way you want it to or plan for, it’s just part of the scenery – this is just preparing us for what will be another Olympics.

“To bring the athletes together and to be the best we can be.

“When you see the team here today training with each other not only are they building that culture and rapport they are pushing each other.

“They’ll train a little bit harder, they’ll go a little bit faster and they’ll work a little bit better – that really drives us to achieve and I think as an athlete a long time ago you look forward to being around your peers and sharing that experience.”

But when it came to the question of possible quarantines Perkins was quick to confirm that his swimmers “need to be in the water… they need to be moving…being held in quarantine in hotels is extremely disruptive but as the Playbook develops and if we see that looks like being an option then we need to find alternatives to see how we can get our athletes in (to Tokyo) early – giving them the chance to do that without disrupting their preparation,” said Perkins.

“We (must) give them the best chance to prepare – we can’t afford to put them into risky scenarios where positive tests might appear; we will work on that plan – its not fixed at this point in time….the logistics of moving that many people around is not as simple as it sounds….

Prime Launch Bronte Campbell Hushidar Kharas, Kieren Perkins

PLENTY TO SMILE ABOUT: Rio gold medallist Bronte Campbell, Prime Video boss Hushidar Kharas and Olympic legend and Swimming Australia president Kieren Perkins. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

“ The Olympics is about Elite swimmers preparing for an Olympic Games and they are only ultimately concerned with one thing and that’s being prepared to race in Tokyo and win – all the side benefits – the culture building the team and bringing people together to build relationships absolutely matters but when you cut to the chase it’s High Performance.

“The focus and intensity of that moment when you are about to step out behind the blocks after four, six, eight, ten, 12 years of your life, dedicated to a single opportunity a single moment in time and 50m of water in front and seven other warm bodies around you, that you are there to beat – the rest is noise and irrelevant.”

“They are focused preparing – eating sleepi9ng and making sure that they get all the physio and doctor treatments they need so when the whistle goes and they are standing on those blocks they are 100 percent ready to perform….”

“We have been dealing with this uncertainty for over a year

They know Tokyo is on they are working hard to get there and they are trusting the HP environment around them to do the worrying around them.”

And the team’s reaction to the Video Prime announcement?

“I was actually at the hotel yesterday when thy team were told about the Amazon Prime deal and I have not heard a bunch of athletes cheer so spontaneously and loudly about a commercial deal for a long time,” said Perkins.

“They were allowed to cheer and they were all extremely excited and I think those of us with a little bit more mileage under our tyres the idea of this type of consumption of content is interesting and not native.

“But for our athletes this is the world they live in – it makes complete sense it’s superb exciting they are all Amazon Prime video subscribers anyway so its just another opportunity to consume more content.

“ I think for a lot of them to be able to point friends and family and others and maybe yourself every now and then – watch the replay, stream it on demand when ever you feel like on whatever device then that’s pretty cool.

“(Not like me) I have got cupboard filled with VHS tapes and most people around me don’t even know what a VHS tape is or what to do with it – this is an exciting new world.”

Ptrime Launch Assdembled Media

PRESS CORPS: A big roll up of media for today’s Prime Video Launch on the Gold Coast. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).