OLYMPIC gold medallist Kyle Chalmers has been nominated for one of the most prestigious sporting awards, the Don Award, presented by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
The award, named in honour of Australian sporting Legend and first Sport Australia Hall of Fame inductee, Sir Donald Bradman, is for the Australian athlete or team who, by their achievements and example over the last 12 months, are considered to have had the capacity to most inspire the nation.
At just 18, Chalmers became the first Australian male to win gold in the 100-metre freestyle at an Olympic Games since Michael Wenden in 1968.
Hopefully my race proves to young Australians that anything is possible when you train hard, set goals and listen to your coaches.
Chalmers, who only made his first senior Australian swim team in 2015 for the FINA World Championships, left his debut Olympic Games with three medals, including gold in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 4x100m freestyle and the 4x100m medley relay events.
The down-to-earth football and sport mad South Australian emerged from the Olympic Games as an inspiration to children all across Australia and the world following his victory in the men’s 100m freestyle final.
Up against a quality field, he turned in seventh place at the halfway mark but put together a fast final 50 metres to steal the win in a new personal best time of 47.58 seconds.
“It is an honour for me to be recognised for such a prestigious award,” Chalmers said.
“Hopefully my race proves to young Australians that anything is possible when you train hard, set goals and listen to your coaches.”
The 2016 Don Award will be presented at the 32nd Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 13 in Melbourne.
The first Don Award recipients were cricketer Mark Taylor and marathon runner Heather Thurland who shared the inaugural award in 1998.
Previous swimmers to win the award have been Ian Thorpe in 1999, Petria Thomas in 2004 and Grant Hackett in 2005.
Other winners of the award include Sally Pearson, Cadel Evans and Cathy Freeman.