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Chad Le Clos

Chad Le Clos
 
Tuesday 31 January
 
A true South African champion, Chad Le Clos first became a household name when he won the gold medal in the men’s 200m butterfly in London 2012.
 
“It’s such an honour to be a representative of South Africa and to be celebrated like I am, but for me I don’t take that lightly,” he says.
 
Chad’s recent win at the World Championships in December was a big comeback for him. Earning him the title of World Champ, which he last held in 2016. 
 
“I’ve had a tough three years, a lot of losses, so this was a big comeback for me. Everyone talks about my age, being 30, usually the end of the career... but I’m only just beginning.”
 
According to Chad, he’s known from a young age that life is about losing. “I think life is about losing, it’s not about winning. You lose everything, you lose your family, your looks, your hair, your girlfriend, your boyfriend…”
 
“I’ve lost a hell of a lot more races than I’ve won. But people don’t see that, behind the scenes, in training, in the gym, in preparation. You have to learn to lose before you can win,” he says.
 
Chad’s family and friends supported him and remained in his corner these past three years. “It comes back to belief; I believed that I was going to get that back. I wanted to be world champion again, I said I was going to be world champion again, and here we are.”
 
He is excited about a behind the scenes movie that he’s been filming for three and a half years, to be released mid-2023. “It’s been a passion project of mine… We get a real good look at who Chad is, behind the swimmer. Also being there for the big moments.”
 
Another passion project of his is the Chad Le Clos Foundation. Launched during the Covid-19 pandemic, they’ve been able to raise funds to work with communities in Durban, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.
 
“We’re also looking at learn to swim, learn to float programs. Drowning in South Africa is one of the worst in the world. Statistically we have 1½ to 2 deaths a day, which is crazy. It shouldn’t be happening,” he says.
 
“This is something I’ve been passionate about since I was young. I come from humble beginnings, I want to make a difference and I want to leave a legacy behind for my family. And hopefully make a positive impact on society.”
 
The upcoming 2024 Olympics will be the fourth Olympics that Chad competes in. “I pinch myself sometimes… Time has really flown. I’m hungry to get back on top,” he says.
 
Follow Chad on social media:
@chadleclos92 / Chad Le Clos / @chadleclos 

Watch the full interview here:

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