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Feb 22, 22

arena goes for speed with Olympic champ signing Kyle Chalmers

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Olympic 2016 freestyle champion and 2020 silver medallist Kyle Chalmers has joined arena’s Elite Team.

The collaboration means that the 23-year-old Australian will represent the Italian brand at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

“So excited to be joining the Arena family,” said Kyle. “It’s such a prestigious company; I have wanted to wear their suits for a long time, and I’m honoured they’re welcoming me to their strong group of ambassadors. Their products are the best in the business, and I’m excited for the next chapter. I know they will take me to the next level.”

Growing up, Kyle had a natural affinity for sports, not least Australian rules football, and it wasn’t until shortly before his breakout season in 2015 that he decided to focus on swimming.

Kyle kicked off 2015 by becoming the youngest swimmer (at 17) to break 49 seconds in the 100 freestyle at the Australian Swimming Championships. He made his international debut at the World Championships in Kazan, and won his first international medal as part of the 4x100 medley relay team. A few weeks later at the FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore, he won seven medals from seven events, including the 50 and 100 freestyle titles.

In his first Olympics in Rio 2016, Kyle broke the 100 freestyle junior world record three times and swam a sensational second 50 in the final – turning in seventh position at the halfway mark – to out-touch a highly experienced field to take gold. It was the first time since 1968 that an Australian won the Olympic 100 free title.

Kyle missed the 2017 World Championships to undergo surgery for a heart condition but returned to competition the same year. The following year at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, he won the 200 freestyle, picked up silver in the 100 freestyle, and helped the men’s teams sweep all three relays. Several months later at the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, he snagged the 100 freestyle gold and added two silvers and a bronze in the men’s relays.

At the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Kyle added another relay title with the 4x200 freestyle gold, along with the 100 freestyle silver in 47.08 – a personal best – and silver and bronze relay medals.

Kyle’s preparations for the postponed Olympics in Tokyo were hampered by further surgery to his heart in 2019 and his shoulder in 2020, but he returned in 2021 to defend his freestyle title. Swimming in lane 7 in the final, his scorching second 50 of 24.37s saw him almost catch winner Caeleb Dressel as he claimed silver, equalling his personal best. He also won two relay bronze medals.

A few months later, Kyle set another milestone – a short course world record of 44.84s in 100 freestyle, breaking a mark that had stood for nearly 13 years. Unfortunately he missed the World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi to have another shoulder operation so that he’s ready for 2022, which includes the Commonwealth Games in July/August in Birmingham.

“Bringing Kyle into the arena fold is a big boost for us,” said Deputy CEO Giuseppe Musciacchio.  “At just 23 years of age he has already accomplished so much. He has a really bright future ahead of him, and we’d like to be part of it, helping him as best we can to achieve his full potential. Australia is an important market for us, so this new partnership will serve to strengthen our ties and work towards growing the sport across the nation.”

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