Olympic swimming champion Kyle Chalmers sets sights on Australian rules football

The Rio 100m freestyle champ is considering switching sports after Tokyo 2020.

We might only see Kyle Chalmers in the pool for two more years.

That's if the freestyle swimmer has his way, as he intends to switch sports after Tokyo 2020.

Chalmers, who won 100m free gold at Rio 2016 as an unheralded 18-year-old, told Stellar magazine in his native Australia that he hopes to become a professional Australian rules footballer.

Teenager Chalmers clinches gold in 100m freestyle

Teenager Chalmers clinches gold in 100m freestyle

'Accidental star'

Media in Australia have called Chalmers, now 20, an 'accidental swimming star'.

In addition to Aussie rules football, the 'Big Tuna' — as Chalmers is also known — grew up playing basketball and doing athletics.

Swimming was "just another sport", but one he turned out to be very good at.

The South Australian broke Ian Thorpe's 100m free national record at 15, three years before he became Olympic champion.

AFL calling?

Chalmers' dad Brett played professionally in the Australian Football League for Port Adelaide and Adelaide, and his son grew up as a fan of the former.

Kyle hasn't kept his dream of playing in the AFL a secret, and now admits he is considering giving up the pool to chase his childhood fantasy.

"It’s something I would love to do, and because it is my dream I would give absolutely everything to see if it takes off," he told Stellar.

"If there was a sniff I could play AFL football, I’d train all day every day to see if I could get drafted."

—Kyle Chalmers on making a future switch to Aussie rules

But the Port Lincoln native says he won't make the switch if he didn't have a realistic shot of being a regular player, claiming he doesn't want to just take up space on a roster.

Health scare

Chalmers missed the 2017 World Championships after undergoing heart surgery in June 2017 to correct a rapid heart rate.

The condition, supraventricular tachycardia, didn't affect the Australian in the build-up to Rio 2016, but impacted his training and performances after the Games.

However, the 20-year-old now shows no signs of it being an issue, winning four golds at this year's Commonwealth Games in Brisbane before taking 100m free gold at the Pan-Pacific Championships.

While plenty of athletes have successfully switched sports, or even juggled two at one time, Chalmers was a bit more cautious about his prospects when detailing his plans.

"It would be hard for me to go from being at the top of the swimming world to potentially being a rookie on a footy list.

"There’d be a big shock, but I’d do everything I could and give everything up to pursue that dream."

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