Kyle Chalmers Threatens to Quit Swimming Over Relationship Rumors

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Multi-Olympic medalist Kyle Chalmers of Australia has already collected two relay gold medals to add to his Commonwealth Games collection this week in Birmingham, but that hasn’t left him feeling positive about his experience so far.

After Saturday night’s action in the pool, the 24-year-old Adelaide native took to social media to speak out on what he calls ‘the hardest 12 hours in his sporting career.’

Chalmers reacted to a run of very personal headlines in Australia and British newspapers that read deeply into the team’s post-gold medal relay celebration.

For the freestyle ace, he ripped into the media’s post-performance interview which focused on his personal relationships and a perceived rift with teammate Cody Simpson over former girlfriend Emma McKeon instead of what transpired in the pool. Other headlines examined post-race reactions, trying to paint a picture of a rift in the team when Chalmers chatted with the Canadians after his team won gold in a mixed-gender relay that included McKeon.

Most of the more sensational headlines have come from tabloid newspapers such as The Sun.

Kyle blasted reports over a row with Simpsons and McKeon as a “load of s**t” in post-race interviews on Saturday.

Said Chalmers regarding last night at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre, “I stand there and get interviewed for 20 minutes probably and not one thing was spoken about how we broke the Commonwealth Record and won the gold medal last night, not one thing about that. So for me it’s heartbreaking.”

He continued, “I have no reason to even stop and talk to media, I just do it to make people happy. Now it’s about voicing how the truth is and my actual feelings, but, yeah, I do and will consider what is next for me now.” (Daily Mail)

But the Aussie stood tall this morning on the blocks in Birmingham, contesting the heats of the 100m freestyle. Chalmers ultimately clocked a time of 48.98 to claim the 6th seed in a swim he described as anything but easy.

“It’s hard, it’s hard for me to stand up and swim this morning,” he emotionally told Seven today.

“It’s probably one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face. I think media don’t realise, as I said on Instagram, how much impact it has on athletes and [their] mental health.”

Chalmers even went so far as to threaten to leave swimming if the headlines continued.

“Up until this point I’ve tried to just keep on moving forward but tonight I ask that you please stop writing these false headlines otherwise my time in the sport will be finished. I don’t swim for this, I didn’t get into the sport to have to deal with this. I swim to inspire and I swim because I love my sport and it gives me purpose.”

His teammate Madi Wilson also posted about the media on Instagram, though she didn’t name Chalmers specifically.

Full Instagram post from Kyle Chalmers:

“Tonight in Birmingham we should’ve been celebrating as a team for all the medals that were won in the pool. We capped off the night with a gold in both freestyle relay teams.
Instead, the line of questioning by the media decided to pick up where they started back in May after trials.

I don’t know how many more times it needs to be said by not only me but my fellow team mates, but these fake storyline’s are doing more harm than good.

I have dedicated my life to this sport and representing my country. I am your poster boy from 2016 and I’m your villain in 2022. And for no reason other than some people in the media needing to justify their pay cheques and knowing that false headlines create clicks and earn them money.

But do you know what it does to the humans you write about? It breaks them down little by little, and tonight is the breaking point. Up until this point I’ve tried to just keep on moving forward but tonight I ask that you please stop writing these false headlines otherwise my time in the sport will be finished. I don’t swim for this, I didn’t get into the sport to have to deal with this. I swim to inspire and I swim because I love my sport and it gives me purpose.

This could end my time in swimming, I hope you are all aware. My mental health right now from all of this over the months is at rock bottom, I really hope that pleases the key board warriors that continue to write false news. Thank you again for the people who love, care and support me. You’ve been there for me everyday through this journey.. and without you I would not have been standing here racing. I would have been retired, but you motivated me, inspired me and helped me get through this battle. For that I am forever grateful.”

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David
4 months ago

Hey, at least swimming is in the headlines.
In my mind that’s never a bad thing

Troyy
4 months ago

Deleted

Last edited 4 months ago by Troyy
Hmm
4 months ago

Toughen up…

Dee
4 months ago

Breaking the WR then retiring in a big F.U. tonight would be iconic. Do it Kyle.

Piss Pooler
4 months ago

Nice try Australia. Almost got me. I almost cared about Australian swimming. Good one.

Troyy
4 months ago

I really feel like Chalmers could do with some proper media training in order to help him not escalate the situation when something toxic is reported by these garbage journalists. Instead he keeps giving them exactly what they want.

Jamesjabc
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

I’m not so sure about that. Basically all of the articles I’ve read and stuff I’ve seen on TV in the last day and a half have been very pro-Kyle. I think he might shift some public perception.

Oceanian
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

Really??? Isn’t that like saying victims need training in order not to be assaulted?

Dee
Reply to  Oceanian
4 months ago

I mean… we kinda already do that? I took up a combat sport a few years ago and self defense classes are probably the most common group classes I see at my gym. Not saying it’s right, but we have to be realistic about the world we live in – There are s****y people who are going to write, say and do s****t things – There are (imo) good and bad ways to deal with that in regards to self-preservation and maintaining good mental health.

Last edited 4 months ago by Dee
Scotty P
Reply to  Dee
4 months ago

The group combat sport classes at my gym are almost always full.

Kachow
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

He’s there to swim not talk to media. All questions should be regarding the swims not some BS rumor. He’s not a kardashian, if I were him I would’ve given them the finger immediately after bringing up some dumb stuff and headed home to get ready for the rest of the competition.

Dan tm
4 months ago

Kyle doesnt even like swimming.
He’s just incredibly good at it.
His passion has always been Australian Football,as his father was a Pro AFL player in Adelaide.

Jamesjabc
Reply to  Dan tm
4 months ago

Pretty impressive to be an individual world record holder in the blue ribbon event without even caring about swimming

jeff
Reply to  Jamesjabc
4 months ago

individual world record is impressive but idk if id consider that the blue ribbon event

Mark
Reply to  jeff
4 months ago

Ok. but which event is then? The 100m and 1500m are both considered blue ribbon events in track and field, with my vote going to the 100. Just think of the names of some of the winners at the Olympics: Owens, Lewis, Bolt to name a few. In swimming the winners of the 100 free at the Olympics include Weissmuller (Tarzan), Spitz, Biondi, Popov, Van den Hoogenband, Dressel and Chalmers. I’d say the male blue ribbon event at any major meet is the 100 free, but let’s hear your alternative.

jeff
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

yes the long course 100 free… which is not a world record he holds. Short course 100 free world record is still very impressive but I think we’re all aware it’s nothing like breaking the long course 100 free wr.

Like you literally brought up how competitive the 100 free at the Olympics is which is completely irrelevant to his world record

Last edited 4 months ago by jeff
Troyy
Reply to  jeff
4 months ago

Even American media called the 100 free the blue ribbon event when Dressel won gold in Tokyo.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dressel-leads-u-s-olympic-gold-night-swimming-records-rivalries-n1275364

And so does the 100 free wikipedia page.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_metres_freestyle

Last edited 4 months ago by Troyy
Oceanian
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

Of course the true title for the accolade is ‘blue riband’ but Murricans dumbed it down to ‘blue ribbon’ cos… well idk why.. but they did..

Admin
Reply to  Oceanian
4 months ago

The two words ribbon and riband are the same word. The spelling of “ribbon” first came about in the 16th century, and by the mid-18th century was already in common usage. In both cases, the replacement began well before “Murrica” existed.

In fact, the official “blue riband” award, which was given to the fastest ocean liner across the Atlantic, didn’t come into existence until 1935, which was long after the word “riband” became out of fashion. The cookie was probably named after that (it came around in 1936). In fact, there’s a very well-known mandella effect in the UK where people are convinced that Blue Riband Biscuits used to be called Blue Ribbon Biscuits, and Blue Riband Biscuits are most… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Braden Keith
isopropyl
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

Came for swimming news, left with a lesson in etymology. You never know what you’re going to find in the SwimSwam comment section it’s what keeps me coming back for more.

jeff
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

am I missing something?? Yes the LCM 100 free is the blue ribbon event but he doesn’t hold the wr in that, Cielo does?? Or did Chalmers break that and I’m just super out of the loop

Last edited 4 months ago by jeff
please stop
Reply to  Troyy
4 months ago

ok except Chalmers holds his record in SCM while Dressel has a faster LCM on and more individual accolades in the event

torchbearer
Reply to  Jamesjabc
4 months ago

Re: Blue Riband…
The 100m was swum at the first Olympics, and every Games since (except 1900)…. .I suspect it was considered the ‘blue ribbon’ sprint then, as it is now.

please stop
Reply to  Jamesjabc
4 months ago

yh in SCM

Mark
Reply to  Dan tm
4 months ago

He has been pretty clear in his interviews with Cate Campbell over the past 2 days that he loves swimming, competing against his rivals and with his relay teammates. He specially said he loves getting in the pool and competing a number of times. What he clearly doesn’t love are stories, possibly made up ones, about his private life, and there aren’t many people who do like that.

You appear to be referring to a few stories from 2018/19 when Chalmers said he would quit swimming after the 2020 Olympics and try to make it in AFL, like his father Brett. But he didn’t quit swimming after the Olympics and I hope he doesn’t after this kerufffe.

Mark
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

Kerfuffle – my spelling was awry!

Tracy Kosinski
4 months ago

Good for Kyle! I love this guy for speaking up. Such a class act, and I felt the same way about the announcers and interviewers. I believe one of the announcers blamed ONE of the Canadians for losing the relay – I forget which one – but it was so freaking classless. Many times so far – and it’s only day 3 – I found my jaw dropping at some of the comments.

That’s right Kyle – congrats on the gold AND CR!!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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