Posted in News on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by The Beachcomber Tours correspondent
The South African Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion, Chad Le Clos was on holiday with his family at Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa in May.
The son of a Mauritian-born father, Chad Le Clos certainly knows the island very well. “The first time I came here, I was 2 or 3 years old. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to come as much as I can, especially in recent years. Obviously with swimming, it’s a very difficult because I’m travelling a lot but ever since the Olympics in 2012, I at least come once a year,” says the South African swimming star.
“I love the island for many reasons. There are so many different cultures and different cuisines you can eat. I’ve always liked the beach lifestyle and I think everyone here is so amazing and so nice. People are very helpful wherever you go, and generally they are just very kind people.”
Having grown up in Durban, and now living in Cape Town now, Chad says, “I was always a natural water baby. My father actually taught me to swim when I was very young and I think I’ve always wanted to pursue swimming, especially when I got older. I was 11 or 12 years old when I decided I wanted to go to the Olympic Games and that became a huge aspiration for me.”
The Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games champion is very proud of what he has achieved so far. He is definite in recalling the 2012 London Games and winning the gold medal in the 200m butterfly over the legendary Michael Phelps as the highlight of his career. “It was an unbelievable feeling, which is very hard to describe with words. Michael Phelps was a hero of mine growing up and it was so surreal. Obviously that was a huge moment for myself, for my family, for everybody around and I think it was just a dream come true.”
“I’m only 26 years old and I still feel that I have a lot more to prove to myself and to the world, and I’m very excited for the Olympics in 2020. I feel like it’s going to be the most important moment of my career, and my life maybe. I’d like to win that gold medal which I didn’t win in 2016,” says Chad.
He also recently became the most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games history with a career total of 17 medals and an unprecedented treble in the 200m butterfly. “For me, it’s all about legacy and creating history in ways that no one else has done before. I’m still motivated for my career going forward. I believe that I’ll achieve more and hopefully great results in the next Commonwealth Games. And of course, the World Championships are coming up later this year.”
Chad says he definitely would have been playing football for Manchester United if he hadn’t been a swimmer. He also enjoys surfing in his spare time. “In Durban and Cape Town, the waves are very good for surfing and I just like hanging out with my friends and family. So Mauritius is very suited to my type of living.”
He has already started planning his career after swimming. “I’ve opened my Chad Le Clos Academy in South Africa. I’m trying to change and revolutionise swimming in South Africa and around the world. With the expertise I’ve gained over the years, along with amazing coaches and people that are very passionate, we are putting our minds together and will hopefully come up with a great programme that will benefit the youth of the country and the world,” he says.
“I’m looking at bringing that to Mauritius in the coming months and obviously I have a very strong heritage here with my family, my father being from here. I want to give back to the community and I think this is a great way to do that. I’m very strong with my swimming at the moment but after the 2024 Olympics, I’ll definitely be focusing more into that. I’m very excited!”