Kyle Chalmers has been a gold medalist for more than a week now, but being an Olympic champ took some processing for the South Australian country boy.
Chalmers, 18, came from behind to win the men’s 100m freestyle final at the Rio Games on Aug. 10, beating teammate—and favourite— Cameron McEvoy.
“It really hit him when he was on the dais and he looked up and saw Mum and Dad crying,” says Kevin Richardson, the principal at Adelaide’s Immanuel College where Chalmers is a student. “I think that was the first time he realised he has won a medal.
Watching the race inside the hall at the school, Chalmers’s schoolmates went “berserk,” Richardson tells WHO. “I mean, how often do students have a classmate swim in their swimming carnival at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year win a gold at the Olympics?”
The victory was a reward for a tireless work ethic for the athlete, who also picked up bronze medals in the men’s 4x100m freestyle and medley relays.
“He comes bouncing in the morning full of energy,” his Adelaide-based coach Peter Bishop tells WHO. “We were just hoping to keep on improving. I think he had the best composure. He swam to his strengths.”
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