Dalton kicking on in Rio

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

A junior basketball star but with one of the most lethal kicking games in the world, an unusual skill set for Sevens convert Chloe Dalton.

The 23-year old made the switch from hoops two years ago but never dreamed of lining up for Australia at the Rio Olympics. 

“I had absolutely no idea the opportunities that were available and the speed at which my transition would have played out,” Dalton said.

“It’s so incredible to think that I’m here representing Australia in Rugby Sevens.”

Women’s coach Tim Walsh persuading Dalton to make the hop, after spotting potential in six-foot tall basketball prodigy.

“It’s really not a natural progression to come from basketball to be a specialist kicker but I think it was just growing up kicking a footy around the backyard with my brothers, even though they are not the very good kickers themselves so I shouldn’t give them that credit,” Dalton joked. 

“I think it just came relatively naturally, and I just put in a lot of hours when I had an arm injury into that kicking to try work on it from there.”

Dalton now among the top kickers in the world with clinical precision at restarts and conversions, but while she’s cool on the field, she felt the heat off it, at her first official Olympic press conference.

“It was actually quite nerve wracking walking out there,” Dalton said.

“It was very formal and I wasn’t really expecting that. I almost felt like I had won Wimbledon with the microphone in front of me.

“I think it was a really good experience, and made it feel more real that we’re actually at the Olympics Games,” Dalton said.Chloe Dalton has battled injury this season. Photo: Getty Images

Dalton at the press conference sitting alongside Australian weightlifter Tia-Clair Toomey, after the latter just claimed second in the world at the CrossFit Games. 

“Comparing Tia competing in an individual sport, she was appreciating how cool it would be for us competing as a travel and the fact we do get to travel together,” Dalton said.

“That was a good chance on the first day to meet those athletes, and to realise that everyone is here and keen to get to know each other.”

The Women kick off their campaign against Colombia on August 7 at 2.30am AEST.