Olympic Champ Kyle Chalmers Says ‘I Feel Like I’m Almost 40’

kyle chalmers - Swimming Australia

Olympic Champ Kyle Chalmers Says ‘I Feel Like I’m Almost 40’

Like many athletes, Australian Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers has endured his share of injuries, and he discussed those medical issues in an excellent article by Phil Lutton in the Sydney Morning Herald. Just ahead of the start of the Australian Championships, Chalmers talked about the wear and tear on his body, especially on his shoulders. He noted he feels much older than his 23 years.

“If it was just the two or four hours a day I was in the pool, it would be fine,” Chalmers told Lutton. “But you just can’t get away from (the injuries). I’m turning 24 next month, but I feel like I’m almost 40 most days.”

Chalmers will be in Adelaide for the Aussie Champs in a reduced role, having opted to not contest his trademark freestyle events. Instead, Chalmers will race the 50 butterfly and 100 butterfly, although he has indicated he will not race at the World Championships in Budapest next month. Chalmers has made his summer focus the Commonwealth Games, where he has been awarded a wildcard to the competition in Birmingham.

The 2016 Olympic champion in the 100 freestyle, Chalmers finished a close second to American Caeleb Dressel at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. He noted plans to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, but also indicated that he expects daily struggles with his body when his career comes to a close. Specifically, Chalmers said he doesn’t expect to be able to lift his arms above his head.

Chalmers’ decision to compete in the 100 butterfly in Adelaide is part of a bigger plan, as the Aussie told Lutton he will drop the 200 freestyle from his program and make the fly a focus for Paris. The butterfly was an event in which Chalmers excelled as a youth.

“I’m probably not going to produce anything amazing this week (in the fly), but by (Commonwealth) Games, if I can get my hand on the wall in the top three, I think I’ll be ok. And by Paris, I’ll be able to have a good crack.”