The drama surrounding Kyle Chalmers and coverage of glamour couple Cody Simpson and Emma Keon has overshadowed Australia’s fantastic Commonwealth Games results in the pool – and golden girl Ariane Titmus has admitted it has taken a toll on the entire team.
With the swim portion of the Games now over, Australia finished with 25 gold medals to go with 21 silver and 19 bronze.
It’s the best haul the Dolphins have ever managed at a Commonwealth Games.
Chalmers outburst at the media has taken much of the attention off that achievement, however, with the star swimmer clearly upset about continued coverage of the love triangle between he, McKeon and Simpson.
The Australian Dolphins swim team launch their swimwear for the 2022 Commonwealth Games – Ariane Titmus (centre) has describe them as a ‘family’
Ariarne Titmus celebrates after winning gold in the women’s 400m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games
Fresh off yet another gold medal, Titmus admitted it had been a challenge for the team, who she thinks of as more of a ‘family’.
‘We are all so close, we are such a close team, and I think that’s why we perform so well, because we have each others’ backs,’ she said on the Channel 7 broadcast after winning gold in the 400m freestyle.
‘I think it potentially can affect us emotionally because they’re our friends, they’re teammates.
‘We’re like a family and we don’t like seeing people upset and put through duress.’
Kyle Chalmers has found himself in the headlines more often than not this Commonwealth Games, including a ‘shush’ to the media after winning gold in the 100m freestyle
Chalmers put his fingers to his lips in a gesture that suggested he was silencing his critics after taking gold in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday.
He said there were moments he had felt like he ‘could not continue on’ and said he hoped his latest win was ‘a learning point for everybody’ – including the media.
‘The past 48 hours have been hell, a rollercoaster. I was even speaking to my coach before the race and I almost started crying and I’m not an emotional person,’ he told former Aussie great Cate Campbell on Channel 7 after one race .
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Chalmers also threatened to quit swimming altogether if ‘false news’ continued to circulate that he was in a feud with the McKeon and Simpson.
Cody Simpson and Emma McKeon have been fan favourites at the Commonwealth Games
At the national trials back in April, Chalmers, who has reportedly previously dated McKeon announced he would take up 50m butterfly for the Games – the same event that Simpson was attempting to qualify for.
Some spectators felt Chalmers was perhaps trying to deliberately quash the dreams of Simpson, whose return to the pool and relationship with McKeon has seen him become a constant talking point.
Chalmers rubbished reports of a rift in the team, and said after his last race at the Games he was ‘relieved’ it was now over.
Kyle Chalmers (left) was in better spirits after winning the 100m final, celebrating the win with Scottish swimming Duncan Scott
‘There’s so many things to be grateful for: being part of the team, it’s special,’ Chalmers told Channel 7 after swimming the anchor leg for Australia in their 4x100m mixed medley.
‘And we are all so close and it’s been a very, very successful week in the pool for us and, hopefully, we’re able to celebrate a little bit tonight as a team and, obviously, we all depart tomorrow.’
Titmus echoed those sentiments, hoping Australia would be happy with the ‘extra luggage’ of medals the swim team are coming home with.
‘I think the swimming does the talking. We’ve killed it this week and I hope that Australia is proud of our performance and we’ve done our absolute best for the country and we’re going to go home with some extra luggage,’ she said.