Swimmer Kyle Chalmers, a year 12 student at South Australia’s Immanuel College at Novar Gardens in suburban Adelaide, won a gold medal for Australia at last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Kyle, 18, took out the men’s 100 metres freestyle event in a personal-best time of 47.58 seconds at his first Olympics.
In doing so, he became the first Australian gold medallist in the prestige event since 1968. He is also the youngest Australian male since Ian Thorpe to win Olympic gold.
Immanuel College students and staff gathered to watch their schoolmate compete in the final, with network television cameras relaying the celebrations which erupted when Kyle came from behind at the turn to touch the wall first. He also won two bronze medals at the Olympics, as part of Australia’s men’s 4×100 metres freestyle and medley relay teams.
College Director of Development Steve Blight said Kyle had started attending the school in year 7 and not surprisingly dominated competitive swimming both within and for the school. ‘I think he holds every school record in every event’, Mr Blight said.
Like Immanuel old scholar Kieran Modra, who is due to compete in his eighth Paralympic Games in Rio this month and has five gold medals in cycling at that level, Kyle originally hails from Port Lincoln on SA’s West Coast. He is the son of former Port Adelaide and Adelaide Crows AFL footballer Brett Chalmers.
Meanwhile, The Australian newspaper reported that six of Australia’s first seven medals in the Olympic pool were connected to Lutheran schools.
St Peter’s Lutheran College Indooroopilly, in Brisbane, which was founded out of Immanuel, had a strong Games representation of 10 in Rio. This included gold, silver and bronze medal-winning freestyler Emma McKeon, who trains at St Peters, as does 200m butterfly and 4×100 metres medley relay silver medallist and former student Madeline Groves. Other medal-winning swimmers training at the school pool include Bronte Barratt and Mitch Larkin.
More information about Lutheran Education: Lutheran Education Australia website