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Kyle Chalmers bio

Kyle Chalmers

Age

26

Place of Birth

Ashford, SA

Hometown

Port Lincoln, South Australia

Senior Club

St. Andrew’s Anglican College, Sunshine Coast

Coach

Ashley Delaney

Olympic History

Rio 2016

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

Immanuel College, Adelaide

Career Events

Swimming Men's 100m Freestyle

Swimming Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay

Swimming Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay

Swimming Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

 

Kyle's Story

At the Rio 2016 Olympics Kyle Chalmers wrote his name into Australian history by becoming the fourth Australian – after Jon Henricks (1956), John Devittt (1960) and Michael Wenden (1968) – to win the prestigious Olympic men’s 100m freestyle title. At the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, he came within a whisker of joining an even more illustrious list.

Only four men in the history of the sport have won and then defended the 100m freestyle title, Americans Duke Kahanamoku (1912, 1920) and Johnny Weismuller (1924, 1928), Russian Aleksandr Popov (1992, 1996) and Holland’s Pieter van den Hoogenband (2000, 2004). The build-up to the final in Japan resembled the prelude to a world heavyweight title fight, Kyle in one corner, American superstar Caeleb Dressel in the other.

Kyle Chalmers

 

Australians had learned in Rio not to be alarmed if Kyle fell back early in the race because he won there by storming home from seventh at the turn, but this time he left himself just a little too much to do. Even though he made up a quarter of a second on Dressel in a storming last lap, he finished an agonising 0.06sec behind the American, capturing the silver in a pb-equalling time of 47.08sec. He would later add a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay, anchoring in the fifth fastest relay split of all-time to ensure Australia made it to the podium.

2014 Youth Olympian Kyle made his World Championships debut in 2015 with a fantastic 47.92 second leg in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay. He also raced in the 4x100m medley heats where he swam even faster (47.86) to guide his team to the final where they won the silver medal.

 

 

One week after competing in his first World Championships, Kyle appeared at the World Junior Championships in Singapore, winning seven medals, including three gold. He also broke Cameron McEvoy’s 17-year national record by winning the 100m freestyle in 48.47 seconds.

But it was at the Rio Games that Kyle announced himself as the new star of Australian swimming.

Just 18 at the time, he touched in seventh place at the turn in the 100m final before unleashing a barnstorming finish to become Australia’s youngest Olympic swimming champion since Ian Thorpe in 2000. He swam a huge personal best to break his own world junior record in a time of 47.58 seconds.

Competing on home soil at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Kyle broke three Games records while winning gold in the men’s 200m freestyle, the 4x100m freestyle relay, the 4x100m medley relay, the 4x200m freestyle relay, as well as collecting silver in the 100m freestyle.

 

Kyle Chalmers

 

In the 2019 World Championships, Kyle won gold in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, silver in the men’s 100m freestyle and the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, and bronze in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

He battled injuries in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games, including having heart surgery and a shoulder operation but still dominated the freestyle sprints at the Olympic trials, winning the 100m and 200m events.

He swam a reduced program at the 2022 Budapest World Championships but still helped Australia set a world record in winning gold in the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay, while helping the men’s 4x100m freestyle quartet to bronze. But, a few weeks later, he swam a full range of events at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, winning the 100m freestyle and three relay gold medals while also helping Australia to the men’s medley relay silver.

Kyle’s strong form continued into the world titles in Fukuoka, Japan, where, after many attempts, he won his first individual world championships gold medal in his favoured 100m freestyle. He also picked up gold in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay and the mixed 4x100m freestyle relay.

 

 

Kyle, 26, grew up playing Australian Rules football and he loves nothing more than getting out for a kick with his team in Adelaide when he can. Kyle’s father Brett played 120 SANFL games and 25 AFL games for Port Adelaide, and the sprint star is a passionate supporter and ambassador for the club.

But his favourite distraction from the pressures of training and competing is to spend time with his collection of up to 40 reptiles, including snakes and lizards. He even has a dedicated Instagram account for fellow reptile enthusiasts.

Shortly after returning from Fukuoka, Kyle was forced to clarify his future when rumours began circulating that he was considering retirement.

Having secured his place as one of the country’s greatest freestyle sprinters and most dependable relay swimmers, Kyle is now laser focussed on Paris – although he admits it could be is third and final Games.

 

“I am not retiring,” he said on Instagram. “But yes, Paris will be my third and most likely last Olympic Games. 2028 is a very long way away, but who knows, if the body and the mind hold up maybe I’ll even be in Brisbane in 2032.

“For now, it’s time to lock in and give my absolute all to having success in Paris. Hungrier than ever.”

Demonstrating that hunger, Kyle won the 100m freestyle at the 2024 Australian championships on the Gold Coast and finished second in the 50m.

At the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane he secured his ticket to Paris with an emphatic victory in the 100m freestyle.

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