Kyle Chalmers is a competitive swimmer who represents Australia internationally. He is a 2x Olympian and the 2016 Olympic champion in the 100 free.
Chalmers comes from an athletic background. His father, Brett, played in the Australian Football League and from an early age it looked as though Chalmers wanted to follow in his dads foot steps. Swimming was just one of the many sports Chalmers played growing up, and it wasn’t until a few months before his international breakout season in 2015 that Australian football was another big priority.
After an impressive year in the pool in 2015, Chalmers signed a multi-year deal with Adidas.
Chalmers made his mark in the history books at the Australian Swimming Championships. He destroyed the Australian Age group record in the 100 meter freestyle by almost a second in a time of 48.89. The time also made his the youngest swimmer ever to break 49 seconds. His performance earned him a spot on the World Championship team.
2015 FINA World Championships
Despite suffering a broken wrist and torn ankle ligaments from an Australian Football game months earlier, Chalmers made his international swimming debut in Kazan.
Chalmers was part of the 4×100 meter freestyle relay, in which the Australians failed to make the final. Chalmers was the one shining light to come out of Australia’s disappointment in the event. The 17-year-old showed his promising talent with the 3rd fastest split of all heat swimmers in 47.92. He swam an even better split in the final leg of the 4×100 medley relay heat, in 47.86. Although Chalmers didn’t swim the final, Australia took 2nd, giving Chalmers his first international medal.
2015 FINA World Junior Championships
A couple of weeks later, Chalmers was in Singapore to prove why he was considered one of the world’s most promising young swimmers. In seven events, Chalmers claimed seven medals and a Championship record.
First up was the 4×100 freestyle relay. Chalmers swam the second leg, taking over in 4th place. His split of 48.41 took Australia into first place, which they kept the rest of the way to defend their title. On day two, Chalmers added a silver in the mixed 4×100 medley relay in his fastest ever split of 47.68. He also took silver in the mixed 4×100 freestyle relay. Chalmers took his first individual gold in the 50 meter freestyle in 22.19. That same night, he showed his endurance, doubling his usual distance in the 4×200 freestyle relay, in which Australia took silver. Maybe his most impressive swim came on the final day in 100 meter freestyle. Chalmers swam a new Championship record time of 48.47. Chalmers finished off the meet with a bronze in the 4×100 medley relay.
2016 Olympic Games
Chalmers booked his spot on the plane to Rio with a silver in the 100 meter freestyle at the 2016 Australian Championships. He went in to the final seeded fourth, but had a stunning race to beat out some tough competition.
In his first race in Rio, Chamlers joined James Roberts, James Magnussen and Cam McEvoy in the 400 meter freestyle relay to take the bronze medal. Swimming the second leg, Chalmers moved Australia from third position to second, ahead of France. But France had a better second half of the race, leaving Australia to finish third in 3:11.37.
In his individual 100 meter freestyle, 18-year-old Chalmers won gold in a new Junior World Record. It looked like he had left too much work for himself to do after turning in 7th. But he came alive in the final 10 meters, streaking ahead to touch first in 47.58. Belgium’s Pieter Timmers took second, leaving the defending Olympic Champion, Nathan Adrian to settle with bronze.
In his final swim at the Olympics, Chalmers won his second bronze as a member of the 4×100 meters medley relay. Chalmers had the fastest freestyle split of all swimmers in 46.72, but it wasn’t enough to over take Great Britain for the silver. Mitch Larkin, Jake Packard and David Morgan joined Chalmers to take third in 3:29.93.
Withdraw from 2017 World Championships/Heart Surgery
After qualifying for the Aussie team by getting 2nd at the 2017 World Champ Trials, Chalmers announced that he would be withdrawing from the meet to focus on his long term success. This included surgery to treat a condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia. The surgery was successful, and Chalmers made his return to competition in July of 2017.
2018 Commonwealth Games
After several competitions back from heart surgery, Chalmers took on his biggest home meet yet. At the 2018 Comm Games, he raked in a haul of 4 golds and a silver, contributing to all 3 winning Aussie relays. He also won the 200 free individually (1:45.56) and tied with Chad le Clos for silver in the 100 free (48.15).
2018 Pan Pacific Championships
Kyle Chalmers had a big day 2 of pan pacs, as he led Australia to 2 medals. First, he won the 100 free in 48.00, then came back to swim 2nd on the Aussie 4×200 relay, splitting 1:46.73, which ultimately touched in 2nd. On day 3, he anchored Australia’s 4×100 free relay (47.50) that finished 3rd overall, but ultimately wound up winning the silver after USA was DQ’ed for swimming in the wrong order. Chalmers finished off his pan pacs performance on day 4 with a bronze in the men’s 4×100 medley relay, splitting 46.91.
2018 Oceania Male Swimmer of the Year
For his efforts at the Aussie trials, Pan Pacs, and the world cup circuit, Kyle Chalmers was SwimSwam’s 2018 Oceania Male Swimmer of the Year.
2019 World Championships
Chalmers started his world championships in the men’s 4×100 free relay, where he split 47.06 on the 4th leg to help Australia get a bronze medal. Chalmers followed this split up with a silver in the 100 free individually, touching in a time of 47.08 to finish just .12 behind defending champion Caeleb Dressel.
On Day 6, Chalmers swam in the men’s 4×200 free relay, splitting in 1:45.37 and helping the team to a gold medal and new oceanian record of 7:00.85. Day 7 had Chalmers leading off Australia’s mixed 4×100 free relay, which earned silver and set a new Oceanian record.
On the final day of competition, Chalmers anchored the Aussie’s 4×100 medley relay, splitting 46.60 to place 5th overall.
2020 Olympic Games
Chalmers started off his 2nd Olympics in the 4×100 free relay, where he anchored in a field-best split of 46.44 to bring Australia from 6th to 3rd, netting him a bronze. Chalmers was back in the 4×200 free relay, again helping team Australia to bronze with a 1:45.35 split in the 2nd position.
Chalmers was back for the 100 free final, swimming a very strong race and dropping a monster 2nd 50, nearly running down leader Caeleb Dressel but just running out of room, touching .06 behind him to earn silver at 47.08.
Signing with Arena
On February 22, 2022, Chalmers announced he had signed a deal with Arena. To celebrate the partnership, Chalmers spoke with SwimSwam about his accomplishments in Tokyo as well as already looking ahead to Paris. Chalmers said he wants to make a “gold medal sandwich” with his 2 medals in the 100 free (gold, silver) plus what is hopefully gold in 2024.
2022 World Championships
Heading into Australia’s 2022 World Champ Trials, Kyle Chalmers had decided just to compete in the 100 and 50 fly, saying he would most likely not race at the world championships even if he made the team. However, he changed his mind after placing 2nd in the 100 fly on day 1, which caused a bit of controversy within the Australian media because it was Cody Simpson he bumped out.
In Budapest, Chalmers swam the 100 fly individually (22nd, 52.70) as well as raced on most of Australia’s relays, where he willed them to multiple medals. On day 1 in the 400 free relay, Chalmers anchored in 46.60, passing 3 teams to earn Australia a silver behind the USA.
On day 7, he swam 2nd on the 400 mixed free relay, splitting 46.98 en route to not only a gold medal but a world record as well. On the last day of competition, he anchored Australia’s 400 medley relay in 46.89, which ultimately placed 4th in the final.
2022 Short Course World Championships
After going undefeated in the 100 free at the 2022 World Cup circuit, Chalmers stated publicly that the two titles he wanted to earn before his career was over was short course and long course world champion. As the 2022 SC World Champs were a home championships for him, he had a lot of momentum heading into this competition, which Chalmers took full advantage of.
Individually, Chalmers met his goal, maintaining 3rd seed through prelims (45.8) and semis (45.6) before ripping a 45.1 in the final to best the field by nearly half a second. He went on to also finish 7th in the 50 free as well.
For team Australia, Chalmers was huge, anchoring the Aussies to a win in the 4×50 free relay, 2nd in the 4×100 free relay, and bronze in the 4×50 medley relay. He was also on the silver medal 4×200 free and mixed 4×50 free relays.
Chalmers saved what was perhaps his best performance for last, though, on the 4×100 medley relay. Diving in once again as anchor while over a body length behind both Italy and USA, Chalmers flew to a 44.63 split, not only clocking the fastest 100-free split in history but doing enough to pass Italy and tie the USA for gold, both teams swimming to a new world record in the process.
2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)
Chalmers pulled off one the most impressive anchor legs to pull the Australian 400 free relay from 3rd to 1st with a 46.56 split. He cruised through the 100 free prelims with a 47.71 in 3rd and semis with a 47.52 in 2nd. In the final, Chalmers was well back of the leader Jack Alexy at the 50 in last with a 23.04. He stormed home, passing every single person in the heat with an absurd 24.11 to claim gold in 47.15. This was Chalmers’s first world title in this event. It was the last of the “two big boxes [he] want[ed] to tick so [he] can retire happily.”
King Kyle took on relay duties for the rest of the meet. He split a solid 1:45.19 on the 800 free relay, the fastest of the Aussies. That relay took bronze. He also anchored the 400 medley relay to another bronze in 46.89. On the 400 mixed free relay, he was a tepid 47.25 along with a lackluster lead-off from Jack Cartwright (48.14) but two stunning splits from Jayna Jack (51.73) and Mollie O’Callaghan (51.71) brought the relay to a new world record and gold.