MADI REFLECTS ON STARS WHO INSPIRED HER
“But in saying that, I’m still adjusting, Bish says it can take 12 to 18 months to change your program and feel completely comfortable but I can see from my training it’s going in the right direction.
“I was disappointed with the short-course titles on the weekend. I have very high expectations of myself but like my coach said, I kind of have to rein them in a bit and realise everything is on track.”
While Wilson was after a fresh start in her push towards the Tokyo Olympics by moving to Adelaide, the added bonus was seeing more of Chalmers – not that it complicates things at training. “It’s definitely made our lives a lot easier,” Wilson said.
“We’re like friends on pool deck. When he’s racing, I support him and get just as nervous as my own races, but all our teammates say we’re just like friends at training, it’s not weird being around us.”
But they’re still competitive in the water.
“It’s always me versus Madi in the warm-up, the first 600 or 800 which is interesting,” Chalmers said.
Chalmers is racing in two FINA world cups, starting in Japan this weekend then Singapore later this month, MADI Wilson remembers the first time she ever held an Olympic gold medal – she tried to see her reflection in it.
She was eight years old and Australia’s Olympic champions Leisel Jones and Susie O’Neill were visiting her hometown of Rockhampton in Queensland.
“I remember holding that gold medal and hoping to see my future in it,” Wilson said.
“Both Kyle and I were from country towns and when someone would come visit or hold a clinic, they’re some of my best memories, it’s what drove me to be a professional athlete.”
That is the inspiration behind Wilson and Chalmers’ new venture, Strive Swim Clinics, which they are rolling out in Adelaide next month.
The initial clinics are aimed at children aged 10-16 who want to transition to the elite level. Chalmers and Wilson will work with them on technique, core strength work, dry-land training and diet.
“To see those juniors looking into a gold medal, some of them will be Olympic gold medallists as well one day so it’s special that we’re part of that journey,” Wilson said.
Chalmers wants to help other kids achieve their goals but is also passionate about spreading a water safety message.
The clinics will be at Marion Outdoor Pool on December 1-2. Details: striveswimclinics.com before competing in the International Swimming League (ISL) in Europe.
“We’re really targeting the ISL meet at the end of the year in Torino Essentially they’re trying to do it like the BBL cricket, bringing the world’s best swimmers together, and it will be awesome to swim with guys who have won Olympic gold medals from other countries.”
Next year’s goal is the world championships which presents a big opportunity.
“I’ve never been a world champion before so that’s something I’d love to do,” he said.
MATURING: Kyle Chalmers and his girlfriend Madi Wilson at SA Aquatic centre. Picture: MATT TURNER FAR LEFT: Chalmers at the Australian Swimming Championships in 2016, and celebrating after winning the 100m freestyle final at the Rio Olympics.