Rio 2016: Kyle Chalmers destined for footy future, dad says

August 12, 2016

Swimming star Kyle Chalmers may be in the Olympic spotlight now, but the Rio gold medallist's father says his son may still have a future in football.


Kyle, who grew up in the South Australian town of Port Lincoln, took out the men's 100 metre freestyle yesterday, days after winning bronze with the relay team.


Coming seventh at the halfway mark of the race, Kyle powered home to win Australia's first gold medal in the event since 1968.


According to dad Brett, a former AFL player who played for the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide, Kyle is the driving force behind his own success.


"It's quite an achievement, especially at a young age to drive himself that hard," Brett Chalmers said. "We've never been pushy parents … I've said to [him] I'll drive you there but you've got to have the drive to want to succeed, and he's done it himself."


The family was only reunited following the gold medal performance this morning (Australia time). Mr Chalmers said he did not think the win had sunk in for Kyle just yet.


"We sat down with Kyle and just talked to him about all the different messages that we'd all received and what he'd been up to and what he's swimming next," Mr Chalmers told 891 ABC Adelaide.


"I don't think it's sunk into him yet. He still seems to be just cruising along.


"He said he'd seen Usain Bolt today and he was excited about that."


Mr Chalmers now coaches the football team and Kyle's high school Immanuel College.


He said Kyle was still holding out hope that he would play football in the future.

"Obviously swimming is his number-one focus at the moment, but he loves his football — he loves all sports, he's nuts about basketball, he's crazy about soccer," Mr Chalmers said.


"I know it's probably pretty tough on him at the moment, because I coach the local school side down at Immanuel … and he was hoping I guess that he'd be out there running around this year, but when you achieve what he's achieved you can understand that his love and life now is swimming.


"I think down the track at some stage, whether it's just local comp footy … I reckon he'll have a kick at some stage.


"The biggest thing that I see is that Kyle is such a team player and I guess that was evident last night when he walked around the side of the pool and waited for Cam McEvoy to come out and actually pulled him out of the pool."


'He's our golden boy': Grandparents watch race with pride

Mr Chalmers said while he was watching his son's finals race, he had his doubts that Kyle would take out a bronze medal let alone a gold one.


"When he turned seventh I thought he'd probably missed a chance at least of finishing in the top three or four," Mr Chalmers said.


"I think it's just the self belief that he knew that he'd done all the hard work and that he could come over the top of them.


"He's only 18 years old, but to a credit to him he held his own and powered home."


Kyle's grandparents Julie and Malcolm Bagnell, who still live in Port Lincoln, said they are looking forward to welcoming their Olympian grandson home.


Mr Bagnell said he was not too concerned that Chalmers was toward the back of the pack at the halfway turn.


"It's unbelievable ... but we were overwhelmed as you can imagine," Mr Bagnell said.


"We were going to say he's coming home with a bronze medal, but now, he's our golden boy, how about that?"


Please reload

Featured Posts

Swimming through winter

March 26, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts
Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square