From the pool to the footy field: Why an Olympic swim champion who still lives with his parents wants to pursue a new sporting dream – and it’s NOT about the money
- Australian Olympic swim champion Kyle Chalmers has ambitions to play AFL
- The 20-year-old plans to pursue his dream after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games
- He has made it clear he is not becoming a football player to earn more money
Australian Olympic swim champion Kyle Chalmers wants to pursue a new sporting dream as a footy player.
The 20-year-old, who smashed Ian Thorpe’s 100-metre freestyle record at 15, said playing AFL would be fulfilling his childhood dream, taking after his father Brett who played for Port Adelaide Power and Adelaide Crows.
Chalmers, who plans to start playing after having a shot at Olympic gold in Tokyo in 2020, has made it clear he is not switching sport for the money.
Australian Olympic swim champion Kyle Chalmers (pictured with girlfriend Madison Wilson) wants to pursue a new sporting dream as an AFL player
Chalmers met his current girlfriend Wilson (the couple are pictured together) at the Rio Olympics in 2016
The Olympian, who calls himself an accidental swimming star, lives with his parents after earning $26,000 in grants, would receive an average wage of $371,000 as a football player.
‘I realise that swimming is not my whole life. There’s a lot more outside the pool I want to focus on and do,’ Chalmers told Stellar Magazine.
‘It’s something I would love to do because it is my dream and I would give absolutely everything to see if that dream would take off.’
Chalmers acknowledged it can be tough work being a footy player but he was willing to put in the hard yards.
‘I think I’ve got that background knowledge in it, and if there was a sniff I could play AFL football I’d train all day everyday to see if I could get drafted firstly,’ he said.
Chalmers said he wants to be avoid being one of those players who get picked up ‘just for attention for a club’ or to be ‘just a list filler’.
Chalmers (pictured with his girlfriend) has made it clear he is not switching sport for the money
Chalmers (pictured) smashed Ian Thorpe’s 100-metre freestyle record when he was just 15
The swimmer, who became part of Australia’s Olympic team when he was just 17, knows it will be a humbling experience to become a hopeful AFL star.
Chalmers, who brought home gold after the Rio Olympics in 2016, met his current girlfriend Madison Wilson there.
She won gold and silver medals as a heat swimmer in the 4x100m freestyle relay and in the 4x100m medley relay.
The couple are working towards competing at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Chalmers grew up playing football in Port Lincoln and then continued to play junior football when the family moved to Adelaide.
Chalmers (pictured) plans to start playing AFL after having a shot at gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020