Kyle Chalmers’ Commonwealth swimming gold medal forgotten in wave of gossip

When an elite athlete is in the same room as you, it’s hard to imagine you’re even of the same race.

It’s not just because they’re so big, they seem to breathe a totally different air. These athletes glide like big cats, their mounts are loose but perfectly controlled, their body temperature is known – of course, I even have arms, hips and collarbones – but nothing like theirs is regulated.

Athletes seem to be cut from a fabric that I do not perceive and are endowed with an inordinate degree of self-sufficiency among the failing mortal world.

So when I saw Kyle Chalmers, Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medalist and swimming champion, in the Sydney airport lounge last weekend, I wanted to get the answer I I’ve always had in the presence of a contemporary model of god: a stupid admiration preventing disbelief, trying not to look at your full time.

But not this time. This time, I was struggling with a growing sense of anger, followed by the strangest emotion of all: a burning need to somehow make it up to me.

It was only a day after Chalmers stood on the pool deck at the Birmingham Games after winning the 100m freestyle event and told fellow champion Cate Campbell bitterly that it was difficult to enjoy his great exploits in the pool. because of the way the media treats her love triangle brooch looking daily.

After being part of the combined gold medal-winning relay and Australian world record group, Chalmers was not asked about his accomplishments.

Instead, he’s been inundated with increasingly insightful and pointed questions about his relationship with ex-partner Emma McKeon, who is now courting bandmate Cody Simpson.

McKeon and Chalmers had repeatedly congratulated each other for saying there was no bad blood between them, but none of that in the herd: there were certainly tears on the pillow at night, and so they had to listen to him.

Emma McKeon also received a gold medal in video games.(PA: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

I used to be embarrassed, then I got up

Now, there have been times when I’ve asked high-level people uncomfortable questions and sometimes they’ve even gotten very private, but it’s starting to get excessive.

To monetize the gold medal and break the world report is an exceptional feat, and the conduct of my fellow journalists at this second deeply embarrassed me.

It reminded me of months of Ian Thorpe’s weary ideas, as a practice swimmer, just staring at the black line at the back of the pool for that intense minute and a half: an excessive amount of laborious work, an excessive amount of sacrifice and focus; so, a gold medal in hand is hardly faced with such a thing.

Before I knew what I was doing, I was on my feet in the crowded hallway and strolled over to Chalmers and his little group. I heard my voice go hoarse and yet: I sprang up and said I was from ABC, and even behind his masks I saw Chalmers’ jaw harden. Withdrawn a bit.

I sighed: “On behalf of all the other journalists who are as outraged as I am by the remedy of some media outlets in Birmingham, I want to apologize. Unimaginable accomplishments and I need you to know that we won’t do all of this to you.

Chalmers blinked, after which with a half-smile he practically hid his concern at the sight of a madman approaching him. “Yeah,” he said, “that was pretty shitty.”

“It was completely shitty,” I said, “I hope the emotion you get the most from these games isn’t disappointment, but a way of rejoicing and rejoicing in your accomplishments because they are exceptional.”

I could have babbled a little more, but Chalmers silently thanked me and I went back to my seat. A few minutes later, the group packed up their things and headed for her door.

And no, I didn’t take a selfie this second.

No PR, no gossip

I know it may offend, if not offend, sports activities and other journalists who would bark at me that they don’t appear to be there to do Swimming Australia’s public relations work, and I agree with them. However, they don’t seem to be there to do the job of a gossip diary either.

Even a perspective on group dynamics – something that I think sportswriters should turn their heads to practically every day – undoubtedly means that they know the mundane, even mundane nature of their inherent private tensions, their discontent and perhaps even hostility. profitable and aggressive group.

You can have an advanced personal background and still win championships. I guess aggressive groups have worked and succeeded on this dynamic since Greek times.

But for some in the herd, the attraction was irresistible: the end of a relationship in one group and the beginning of another? Indeed, the scenario is written: It should have been embarrassing, tense, even heartbreaking for one of the many companions in love.

I’m tempted to ask how the team is doing after this, but if you get a response from those involved and it’s clear in the pool that none of this is impeding efficiency, further pursuit becomes obvious. only a provocation to get tears or anger out of a digital camera.

Admit it guys: this is what you were looking for.

Instead, the press was warned by the athlete that he was about to ruin his sanity and likely eliminate Chalmers from his sport altogether.

I hope they don’t: I hope this gifted young swimmer stays. And I hope some reporters will think to apologize for themselves.

This weekend, let’s keep in mind the pleasure Olivia has given us all and applaud the {couples} who have decided to flee the marriage business and take vows, just the 2 of them.

Have a safe and happy weekend, and in case you’re not in Victoria, start planning your spring trip now, as the number of great local and foreign artists taking part in the At all times Stay at home music competition statewide doubled in a single day.