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Athletes

Chad
Le Clos
South AfricaSouth Africa, RSA
Male
Swimming

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
12 April 1992
Height
190 cm
Weight
83 kg
Residence
Cape Town, RSA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
At age eight he joined Seagulls Swimming Club in Durban, South Africa. He began competing at age 10.
Why this sport?
His potential was recognised by primary school teacher Lindsay Manthey.
Club / Team
Energy Standard Club: Belek, TUR
Name of coach
Andrea di Nino [personal], ITA, from 2017; James Gibson [club], GBR; Graham Hill [national]
Training Regime
He trains from 09:00 to 11:30 in the mornings, and then from 16:30 to 18:30 in the evenings. He also goes to the gym three times a week.

General Interest

Hobbies
Supporting English football team Manchester United, playing poker. (chadleclos.com, 24 Jan 2017; sport24.co.za, 19 Aug 2016)
Hero / Idol
Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, US boxer Muhammad Ali. (timeslive.co.za, 15 Sep 2015)
Injuries
He suffered a shoulder injury in 2013 that kept him out of the BHP Billiton Super Series. (swimswam.com, 23 Feb 2013)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He always carries a lucky charm from his brother in his hand before competing. He then puts it in his shoe before swimming. (straitstimes.com, 05 Nov 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"If you lose, get over it." (fina.org, 27 Jul 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named the Africa Male Swimmer of the Year in Swimswam.com's Swammy Awards for three consecutive years, 2015, 2016 and 2017. (swimswam.com, 22 Dec 2017; 20 Dec 2016)

He was named the Best Male Athlete at the 2016 World Short Course Championships in Windsor, ON, Canada. (enca.com, 12 Dec 2016)

In February 2015 he received the South African Ubuntu Sport Diplomacy Award. (swimswam.com, 15 Feb 2015)

He was named the 2014 Male Swimmer of the Year in Swimswam.com's Swammy Awards. (swimswam.com, 01 Jan 2015)

He was named Male Swimmer of the Meet at the 2014 World Short Course Championships in Doha, Qatar. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 07 Dec 2014)

He was named African Male Swimmer of the Year in 2014 by Swimming World Magazine. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 01 Dec 2014)

He was named the International Swimming Federation 2014 Male Swimmer of the Year. (swimswam.com, 01 Dec 2014)

He was named the 2012 South African Sportsman of the Year. (thesouthafrican.com, 10 Apr 2013)
Ambitions
To win multiple gold medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (swimswam.com, 21 Feb 2017; fina.org, 29 Sep 2016)
Other information
COMMONWEALTH GAMES RECORD
In 2018, he became the most decorated Commonwealth Games swimmer of all time with his 17th medal, a bronze won in the 4x100m relay on the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. (chadleclos.com, 11 Apr 2018)

CLeC ACADEMY
On the 20th of April 2018, he opened the Chad le Clos Academy in Cape Town, South Africa. He said: ''I really want to see the growth of swimming as a sport, both in South Africa and ultimately across the world, by helping existing swimmers improve and encouraging beginners to learn our sport and develop life skills. This has been a dream of mine for some time, and today marks the start of what I hope will be a long and productive journey.'' (chadleclos.com, 20 Apr 2018)

AMBASSADOR
In December 2017 he announced his appointment as an ambassador for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was also an ambassador for the 2014 Games in Nanjing, People's Republic of China. "My role is giving the youngsters hope, sharing my career experiences, having been part of a successful Youth Olympics/Olympics cycle, and giving advice on what to do and what not to do. Some of the challenges you will face are outside of the pool, like life in general. Dealing with those things can sidetrack you a lot more than what goes on inside the pool. Starting from the Youth Olympics, it can be the media that you'll have during that Youth Olympics/Olympics cycle, the pressure that you'll have from your federation, the expectation that you'll have from people, your parents getting ill, bad things happen and you've just got to deal with that." (fina.org, 17 Nov 2017)

RIO REDEMPTION
He overcame the disappointment of missing out on a medal in the 200m butterfly at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro by claiming gold in the event at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. "Losing last year [2016] was the lowest moment of my career. I try to pretend like it wasn't, but I was in a very bad place last year. I tried to be strong, and I tried to lie to the media and say, 'Ah, I'm good, I'm good,' but I was down and out. I said I would come back and try to respond, and I did so. Unbelievable feeling, unbelievable emotion. I tried not to be emotional, but it's hard on such a big occasion.” The victory was made more emotional with his parents Bert and Geraldine in attendance, both of whom had received treatment for cancer in the year between the two competitions. "It was an emotional race, before, during and after it, family's health is more important than gold medals." (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 27 Jul 2017; newstatesman.com, 27 Jul 2017)

NATIONAL FIRST
He became the first athlete representing South Africa in any sport to win more than three medals at the Olympic Games when he claimed silver in the 100m butterfly at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. It took his tally to four following a gold and silver at the 2012 Games in London and an earlier silver in Rio de Janeiro. (ONS, 12 Aug 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 12 Aug 2016)

INTERNATIONAL FIRST
In 2017 he became the first male swimmer to win the overall World Cup title on four occasions. (straitstimes.com, 19 Nov 2017)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
In November 2014 he launched his own brand of surf equipment called 'C le C'. The same year he released an autobiography titled 'Unbelievable!'. (swimvortex.com, 03 Nov 2014; swimmingworldmagazine.com, 05 May 2014)