Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers has revealed why he likes to read articles about himself, saying he uses negative press to motivate himself ahead of big events.
Chalmers’ approach is different to many athletes, who choose to ignore media altogether, and he explained he tries to stick to “swimming-based articles”.
“I wouldn’t say I read everything, but I like to be across most things that are being put out there for me,” he told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports.
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“I mostly would read them on swimming-based articles where people will be kind of putting me down and saying that I’m not going to do something or I’m not going to achieve this, so then I have the extra bit of motivation to prove those people wrong.”
Despite his habit of reading comments, Chalmers admitted the scrutiny is “something that I struggle with at times”.
“It’s sometimes funny to read through the Facebook stuff of people who don’t know you whatsoever and you end up at some point coming across them and they will really suck up to you and be super nice,” he said.
“It’s a challenging world out there and I think that’s the hardest thing with sport.
“I’m a swimmer, I grew up in the country, obviously I’m an OK swimmer and then your life becomes a public life just because that’s the skill you have.
“You don’t learn how to deal with that stuff, you just have to grow and adapt and learn that way. It is definitely very challenging and it’s something that I struggle with at times.”
Chalmers burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old when he won gold in the 100-metre freestyle at Rio 2016. While he hasn’t been able to win another gold, he said he “wouldn’t change a thing” about the journey.
“I think I’ve grown so much as a person and I’ve learnt so much about myself and I think it’s all a part of being an athlete, the peaks and troughs of sport,” he said.
“There’s definitely dark days in everyone’s lives and athletes are no different.
“There’s definitely been very, very big challenges, but it’s something that you have to face. I’m glad I’ve gone through it and it’s made me who I am today.”