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South AfricaSouth Africa, RSA


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
03 July 1980
191 cm
85 kg
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Coach, Motivational Speaker
Afrikaans, Dutch, English, French
Higher education
Communications, Psychology - University of Arizona: Tucson, AZ, USA

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began swimming at age 13 while attending high school.
Why this sport?
He took up swimming after he was dropped from opening the bowling for his high school cricket team. He was also keen to meet a girl who was a part of the swimming team. "She was in high school with me and on the local swim team. I thought if I joined the team I'd be able to show her I was interested in her. To cut a long story short, we ended up dating for a couple of months and she moved away. That was the end of the relationship, but there was something in swimming that I could identify with."

International Debut

Competing for
South Africa

General Interest

Rocket, GT, The Blade, Showman (, 2016)
Golf, music, watching films, spending time with friends. (, 2016)
Hero / Idol
British rower Steve Redgrave, South African statesman Nelson Mandela. (, 2016)
He tore a muscle in his right arm while on holiday in South Africa in December 2011. (, 27 Dec 2011)

He suffered a tear to his pectoral muscle in 2010. (, 27 Dec 2011)

He had a back problem at the 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester, England. (, 25 Nov 2010)

He was troubled by shoulder tendinitis in the lead-up to the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (, 25 Nov 2010;, 14 Mar 2006)

He had a stress fracture in his foot in 2002. (, 14 Mar 2006;, 25 Nov 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Don't compare yourself to somebody around you. Be as good as you can be." (, 26 Mar 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named the Times Newspaper's South African Athlete of the Decade in 2009. (, 14 Oct 2010)

He won Swimming South Africa's Athlete of the Year award for four consecutive years between 2004 and 2007. (, 14 Oct 2010)

In 2007 he received the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver at a National Orders Ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa. (, 2012)

He was named Swimming World Magazine's African Swimmer of the Year from 2004 to 2007. (, 14 Oct 2010)

He was named South Africa Sports Star of the Year in 2004. (, 2016)

In 2004 he was inducted in the University of Pretoria Sport Hall of Fame in South Africa. (, 2008)
Other information
He studied neuro-linguistic programming coaching at Bennett Stellar University in Sedona, AZ, United States of America. (Facebook profile, 09 Aug 2017)

After failing to qualify as an athlete for his fifth Olympic Games in 2016, he went on to serve as the Trinidad and Tobago swimming coach at that year's Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 16 Jul 2016;, 17 Apr 2016)

He has suffered from asthma since childhood and has used swimming as a way of strengthening his lungs. He had a lung test at the 2004 Olympic Games, which revealed the extent that the illness affected his airways. "The worst is I'd already got so used to living with asthma, I didn't even realise how bad it really was. Asthma tends to run in families but it doesn't mean the end of your dreams." (, 11 Aug 2011;, 09 Oct 2010;, 02 Oct 2010;, 11 Jun 2009)