Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member

No, it wasn’t planned... Just happened, came from my heart” Chad le Clos said that while he was walking through the mixed zone in the WFCU Centre, home of the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

The South African winner’s hands were empty, despite coming from the victory ceremony. But he left everything he earned at his parents. The mascot went to his father while the gold medal he captured in the 200m fly landed in the neck of her mother.

Le Clos with his father

These were his rewards – but after all, they were the Le Clos family’s rewards. For their reluctance to give in, though the terrible disease launched firm attacks on the parents respectively as the media reported. They were fighting cancer and even though these battles are never easy and never promise a movie-like happy end, still, love and belief can do wonders. We will never know how Chad would have fared in Rio if he had smooth preparations, without any worries because of his beloved ones...

He finished with two silver medals (100m fly, 200m free) and couldn’t make the podium in the 200m fly where he was the title-holder.

Gold medal and silver is a big difference” he said in an interview in September, at the Arena Media Marathon in Rome.

“For me, Rio was very disappointing. There are very few positives to take from there. I make no excuses for what happened in Rio. I was in good shape, the best shape of my life but things went wrong. There were reasons why but I won’t speak on that one in front of a camera. Champions must accept defeats humbly.”

And even though he was pushed a bit to talk briefly about the difficulties he had come through before the Games, Chad put it simple: “To speak about why it happened it’s not how the champions must behave. You have to win like a champion, and you have to lose like a champion.”

Now, in Windsor, he was back on top. Nothing could have given him a bigger boost than the presence of his family. And the loving child didn’t care of the protocol, he burst through the mix of officials and photographers, climbed the stands and happily gave away everything he received while standing on the top of the podium just minutes before. Again, he didn’t talk. Just acted. Won and behaved like a champion.