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van der Burgh
South AfricaSouth Africa, RSA


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
25 May 1988
185 cm
Marital status
Wife Nefeli
Pretoria, RSA
Athlete, Businessperson, Motivational Speaker
Afrikaans, English
Higher education
Finance - University of South Africa: Pretoria, RSA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up swimming at age 10.
Why this sport?
He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] and used swimming as an outlet for his energy.
Club / Team
Energy Standard Swim Club: Belek, TUR
Name of coach
James Gibson [club], GBR; Graham Hill [national], RSA

General Interest

Killa Cam, VDB (Facebook profile, 23 Apr 2013;, 15 Sep 2015)
Olympic sports, football, rugby, current affairs, business, travelling, cooking, fashion, public speaking. (Facebook page, 29 Jun 2018)
Most influential person in career
His mother. (Facebook page, 03 Sep 2016)
Hero / Idol
South African swimmer Penny Heyns. (, 23 Jun 2018)
He was troubled by a shoulder injury in 2014. (, 01 Aug 2015)

He broke his ankle at age 16. (, 06 Jun 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Remember why you started in the sport and what made you fall in love with it in the first place." (, 26 Oct 2015)
Awards and honours
In 2014 he received a Presidential award and an Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sport. (, 21 Aug 2016;, 10 Jul 2014)

He was named Sportsman of the Year at the 2013 South African Sports Awards. (, 18 Nov 2013)

He was named the 2011 Swimmer of the Year at the Swimming South Africa Annual Aquatic Awards. (, 12 Nov 2011)

He was South Africa's flag bearer at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. (Facebook page, 03 Sep 2016)
Other information
In September 2018 it was announced he would be serving on the newly formed Swimming SA Athletes' Committee. (, 05 Sep 2018)

He plans to retire from competitive swimming after the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. "Being [age] 32 at the next Olympic Games I think I would like to call it a day. I have had a very wonderful career. I have had a rather fortuitous career. I think that I would rather end on my own terms and end up as best as I can. I have a lot of other dreams and other aspirations in my life. I owe so much to swimming but I don't want that to be what defines the rest of my life. I am proactively doing a lot of things and I am just a big advocate for swimmers to always prepare for life after sport." (, 06 Jun 2018)

In November 2016 he co-founded the marketing agency Touch 58. (, 02 Nov 2017;, 2017; LinkedIn profile, 2018)

After the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro he revealed his main focus over the next four years would be to build the foundations of his business career. "For me it is about setting myself up. I've been managed and mentored by [South African swimmer and businessman] Ryk Neethling, which has been a major positive in my life, and I've been able to see how he transitions from sport to business. That is my biggest goal for the next four years - to try and set myself up to ensure that I don't just stop, and ask what is next." (, 18 Oct 2016)

He became the first man to earn four world championship medals in the 50m breaststroke when he won gold in the event at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. He had previously claimed gold in 2009, and bronze in both 2007 and 2011. He has since gone on to win a further two medals in the event at the world championships, finishing with silver in 2015 and another bronze in 2017. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Aug 2017)

He has also studied investment management at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, South Africa. (Facebook profile, 21 Dec 2016)