Chalmers gobbles up new routine in success hunger
FRIDAY schnitzel Chalmers.
He’d go to the Earl of Leicester Hotel with his mates and order the biggest chicken schnitzel he could get – and devour it the same way he stalks and gobbles up his rivals in that devastating final 50m in the pool.
“And every lunch I would eat out because that was my first period of being home by myself,” Chalmers said.
And then he won an Olympic gold medal in Rio. In the 100m freestyle. night used to be night for Kyle
That was the 2016 version of Chalmers – young, fast and fearless and an eventual Rio Olympics gold winner, but who didn’t do much gym and barely knew what the word skinfold meant or pay attention to them.
The 2018 version of Chalmers is like a completely different person. Sitting on the pool deck at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre, he looked fit, strong and, to the uneducated eye, lean. But in a swimmer’s world there’s lean and then there’s lean.
“I’m about 5kg overweight,” he says after returning to racing from his mid-year break at the national short-course championships. If Chalmers is 5kg overweight, he does a good job of hiding it.
“In Rio I was 92kg but it’s unrealistic to get back to that because I was 18 years old with a very high metabolism, whereas that’s slowed down quite a bit now and I’m doing a lot of gym work,” he said.
“In Rio I wasn’t thinking about those things and I could get away with eating anything I wanted.”
A combination of things have now changed.
Naturally, Chalmers is maturing as a professional athlete – he is desperately hungry not for his next schnitzel but to defend his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, and his Marion training squad has improved with the addition of interstate swimmers.
One of them is his girlfriend Madi Wilson – herself an Olympic gold medallist and world champion.
Chalmers has a lot to thank her for. “I’m very, very strict now (with diet) and having Madi around home has made me realise what a professional athlete should eat, and also I can’t get away with eating like I used to anymore,” he said.
“I was chatting to Bish (coach Peter Bishop) about that the other day and I understand exactly what I need to do to get back to race weight and it will happen.”
Chalmers is racing in two FINA world cups, starting in Japan this weekend then Singapore later this month, 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,” Chalmers said.
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,” Chalmers said.