Paul Kingsman
Kingsman in 2015
Personal information
Full namePaul James Kingsman
Born (1967-06-15) 15 June 1967 (age 56)
Auckland, New Zealand
Height1.82 m (5 ft 11+12 in)
Weight85 kg (187 lb)
CountryNew Zealand
College teamUC Berkeley (1986–1989)
Medal record

Paul James Kingsman MBE (born 15 June 1967) is a swimmer and Olympic medalist from New Zealand. He participated at the 1988 Summer Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 200 metre backstroke. He also competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics.[1]


The 21-year-old went into the 1988 Olympic Games the 20th fastest backstroker in the world over 200m. He qualified for the final and raced in lane one. Kingsman's time earned him a bronze medal in the final few strokes. His time of 2:00.48, which set a new Commonwealth record,[2] is currently the longest standing national record in New Zealand swimming at 20 years (broken in 2008 by Kent Basset).[3] Kingsman was New Zealand's first male Olympic medalist in an individual swimming event.[4]

Over his swimming career, in addition to his Olympic medal, Kingsman also earned four Commonwealth Games medals and twelve New Zealand national senior titles.[1] Kingsman was trained during his entire New Zealand career by coach Hilton Brown. When he was 15, he qualified for the 1982 Commonwealth Games team, making the 200m final at Brisbane, Queensland. At the time, he was the youngest Kiwi to ever compete in the Commonwealth Games.[5]

At age 17, he joined Gary Hurring in representing New Zealand at the 1984 Summer Olympics swimming backstroke, and he finished tenth in the 100m. By the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Kingsman's performances bettered enough to earn him two silver medals, in the 100m and 200m backstroke. That year, he also earned a scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley, where his swimming developed a sharply competitive edge under the tutelage of coach Nort Thornton.

Kingsman closed his career by taking a bronze and a silver in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in his home town of Auckland, New Zealand. He was always an exceedingly popular competitor, and his farewell at those Games in Auckland was an emotional occasion. In the 1990 Queen's Birthday Honours, Kingsman was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to swimming.[6]

On retiring from swimming, Kingsman took up a position as New Zealand national sales and marketing manager for Speedo sportswear. He then set up and operated his own swim school in Auckland. In 2001, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son and currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina, where Kingsman is a financial advisor and also a professional motivational speaker and executive coach to the financial services industry.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Paul Kingsman". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Past Performance is not an Indicator of Future Results". Paul Kingsman. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Swimmer Kent qualifies for third games". Fairfax Digital Media. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Paul Kingsman One Sheet" (PDF). Paul Kingsman. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Paul Kingsman". Paul Kingsman. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 52174". The London Gazette. 16 June 1990. p. 30.
  7. ^ "New Zealand Olympic Museum". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2012.